harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Walking Dead Reviewed: "Chupacabra"


The Walking Dead
Season 02, Episode 05


Writer: David Leslie Johnson
DIR: Guy Ferland

Blurb: Daryl becomes injured and stranded in the middle of the woods whilst searching for Sophia. Shane urges Rick to call off the search party. Glenn uncovers a secret. (IMDB)

Scene 01: We open on the sounds of a crowd and as our POV pans around, we see a large gathering of people out on a dark road. It’s a real traffic jam.

Panning continues until we see Shane messing with the radio but getting nothing but static.

Scene 02: Not far away, Sophia and Carl are playing checkers at the back of Ed’s old model Jeep Cherokee [I almost put Ed and Carol’s … but we know that Carol isn’t allowed to own her own clothes in that marriage]. Everyone is wondering what to do next but with the road completely jammed with unmoving automobiles, nobody seems in a hurry to grab up their gear and walk away from the crowd.

Overhead, the sounds of helicopters rumble.

Commentary: I liked these flashback scenes that we received that really fleshed out for us what was happening as the world started coming apart. It’s especially nice to see Ed again… I mean kinda -- it’s hard to actually “like” seeing Ed… and having this glimpse to before the camp. I also liked that we can see why Lori and Carol are getting on so nicely … they had met and bonded before everyone ended up in a camp in the woods.

Scene 03: Carl tells the nervous Lori that he’s hungry and she tells him that they all are. Carol offers to get the children something to eat. But when she goes to retrieve some MREs for the kids, Ed slams the car door closed and glares at her. He has no intention of giving away their survival rations to strangers.

Scene 04: Lori rejoins Shane at his car. He tells Lori that there isn’t anything on the radio anymore - not even the Emergency Broadcasting Center’s information about the refugee center. He walks up the road to see why they’re all being held up here.

As Lori passes Carol, she has to embarrassingly and badly lie that they must’ve forgotten to pack the emergency supplies. It’s pretty clear that Lori realizes that Ed stepped in, but she appreciates the thought.

Commentary: I feel so awful for Carol here, because of course Ed doesn’t just say no to Lori’s face… it falls on Carol to be the humiliated one. But… man, this is awful… but: Ed isn’t completely wrong. He’s an asshole and abusive, but he’s right in that Carol shouldn’t be running her mouth about “having enough MREs to feed an army”. It makes them a target for every yahoo with a gun and a mouth to feed on that road.

I appreciate that she wants to still be human with the other survivors, and I even believe for a small group she’s traveling with, sharing is the right thing to do. But Ed wasn’t completely in the wrong, despite the jerky way he phrased it at his wife.

Scene 05: Lori worries over the broadcasts having stopped, wondering if they’ve started turning people away [clearly, she and Shane were headed for the Center and most probably the vast majority of the folks with them were too].

Scene 06: At the Jeep, Sophia mentions how nice Carl’s “dad” is, but he clarifies for her that his father is dead. Echoing around the hills comes the sounds of explosions, startling and frightening the crowd.

Scene 07: Shane and Lori continue up the road, while behind them a fistfight breaks out. Shane worries about how quickly a crowd of frightened people can get out of control.

Overhead, jets scramble by with their piercing engines quite low.  More helicopters head out over the city of Atlanta. It appears that Shane, Lori and Carl had traveled here from King County looking for government help, only to find that Atlanta was also being evacuated from the epidemic raging throughout the country.

Scene 08: Shane and Lori join others in the woods and look out over a bluff at the city they’re trying to get away from. They see the armed forces firebombing Atlanta.

For the first time, they realize that this may actually be the end of civilization as they’d always known it.

Commentary: It was nice to see the how/why of Lori falling into Shane’s arms and how that developed, though we could read between the lines anyway.

The shots of Atlanta being firebombed were sketchy with the CGI, but I really liked Sarah and Jon’s reaction-shots to watching the city being burned by their own government and the realization of just how badly things were going. Sarah especially handled her complete breakdown at watching the city burn really well.

Our Credits Be Crediting Themselves

Scene 09: We flash forward to Lori waking up in her tent on the Greene farm. After she’s dressed, Dale greets her with a smile. It’s a beautiful summer morning in Georgia.

She joins Carol, where she’s hanging laundry and complains that she slept in so late. Carol doesn’t mind her getting in some extra rest, as they all deserve that once in a while.

During their chatting, Carol brings up doing something nice for Herschel and his family since they have already done so much for them. She suggests cooking up dinner for them, as she’d like to get into a real kitchen again. Plus it’s something to keep her mind occupied as the search for Sophia drags on without a sign of her anywhere.

Commentary: Honestly, this always makes me laugh a bit. I know it seems nice to cook this huge meal for the Greene family… but… uh, you’re going to be using up their resources to do it. I don’t know how much food the Greene’s are sharing, but later when we see this spread laid out for all of them… well, it doesn’t seem all that generous to cook up a ton of food for yourselves and then tell the Greenes it’s a thank you to them.

Scene 10: Nearby, Rick and the search teams are also getting a late start but they’ve mapped out organized search grids of the surrounding areas to be more methodical in their sweeps.

Jimmy comes up to them and offers his assistance, since he knows the area well having lived there. Rick isn’t sure, as their group is still not exactly getting the welcome mat from Herschel, but Jimmy tells him he’s already asked and Herschel told him to ask Rick if he wants the help.

Daryl is convinced that the farmhouse he’d found was occupied by someone small enough to fit comfortably in a closet, while Shane is tamping down expectations by trying to remind everyone that anyone could’ve been staying there. Daryl tells the others that he’s going to borrow a horse and go up into the ridge line where he can get a bird’s eye view of the valley Sophia would be running in.

T-Dog jokes with Daryl that maybe he’ll see his Chupacabra again and Dale tells Rick about Daryl’s first night in camp when he’d claimed he’d seen the mythical creature out in the forest one time. Rick laughs and asks Daryl if he really believes in the beast and Daryl questions if Rick really believes the dead can walk around.

Jimmy grabs for a rifle, but Rick vetoes that. It’s obvs that Jimmy hasn’t ever fired one. Shane brings up providing training for him if he’s interested as a certified firearms instructor. This idea is quickly expanded to include everyone in the camp.

Commentary: The introduction of the Chupacabra tale is a bit awkward and out of left field, but the moment is cute at Daryl’s expense and I like his retort at Rick. It’s really though to show Daryl as still the outsider among this gelling group, which is reinforced by his choosing to go off on his own.

What I really like, but I’m also annoyed by, is finally someone mentioning providing gun training. With Shane and Rick being police officers, they should know better than anyone the dangers of having armed people with little experience and no head knowledge to speak of running around with their fingers on triggers. This is something that we should’ve already seen as having started back in the second or third episode with a scene of Shane talking the others through applying the safety on their weapons, etc.

But at least somebody finally thought that this should be a thing.

Scene 11: On the porch, Glen tunelessly strums at his guitar. Maggie joins him on the porch and Glen suggests putting some more of his purloined condoms to use. Maggie tells him she’s not even sure that she likes him, yet.

Glen tries to smooth talk, but is shot down with a look and Maggie walking off, practically rolling her eyes.

Scene 12: Out in the forests, Rick is partnered up with Shane. He senses that Shane isn’t supportive of this plan to wander the woods looking for a little girl with no survival skills. He breaks the uncomfortable silence between them my reminiscing on Shane’s past as a high school Lothario.

They joke around for awhile, but then Shane tells him they shouldn’t be talking about this past stuff since all of the people they knew from back then are more then likely dead now.

This leads to Shane complaining about nostalgia keeping them from seeing the way things are right now by pining for the way they want things to have stayed. Rick sees between the lines and they start another argument about wasting resources in trying to find Carol’s lost daughter when too much time has already gone by for her to be found alive and well.

Things turn a bit ugly when Shane lays some truth on Rick, opining that Sophia is only as important to the group as her ability to not drag them down. He’s ready to write her off and move onward. Rick is disgusted, Shane is sarcastic.

He goes on to complain to Rick that they’d be half way to Fort Benning right now if Rick hadn’t had to stop everything to lead them on goose chases [presumably, including the decision to go back into Atlanta]. But Rick is feeling guilty about leaving Sophia to draw the walkers away.

Commentary: The Shane/Rick ex-friendship, but sorta-friendship-still is really hard for me to take because they keep pinballing back and forth about it. I want, really want, for them to work it out to co-lead the group, because they are both needed. Shane’s pessimistic practicality is going to be needed to save lives and keep everyone from taking unnecessary and costly risks that are mistakes. But if the group turns into savages who can’t depend on one another, or become just a group of raiders, then what is the point of surviving at all? Is just being alive enough?

Both of these guys are extremists: Rick toward optimism and Shane toward pessimism and if they could just depend on the relationship between them, they’d be a powerful force for seeing that neither viewpoint drags the entire group down. That can only help in their survival. But they just can’t seem to pull it together and I hate watching them drift farther away from their partnership.

And of course, we have to worry that Shane cannot come back from the things he’s done. He murdered Otis. For Carl, yes and in a desperate situation when it was obvious that Otis wasn’t going to leave Shane behind the way he wanted for his practically-adopted son’s welfare but that doesn’t change the deed. And he’s too ready to point that gun at people, including his friend over Lori. But I continue to want him to pull out of this quicksand into darkness that he seems to be mired in.

Scene 13: Elsewhere, we look at the tops of trees when the peace is broken by the sounds of a crossbow bolt being fired. This turns out to be Daryl killing a squirrel for food.

Next, he gets back on the horse and as he’s riding along the ridge of a stream valley, he spots what appears to be a child’s doll lying in the shallow water. He goes down the ridge to retrieve the doll, shouting for Sophia but there isn’t any sign of her.

Minutes later and he’s returned to his horseback, still looking for any signs of which direction Sophia may’ve taken off in. He ends up walking into a panicked flight of birds taking off nearby, which gets the horse spooked.

The continue walking, Daryl still watching down the ridge for any signs of Sophia’s having rushed this way. Unfortunately, he should’ve been looking at the ground ahead. In his path lies a snake, and with the horse already nervous, it only takes a hiss and the reptile bolting to send Daryl’s mount onto its hind hooves. The more he tries to get the horse to settle, the more agitated it becomes and it doesn’t take long for Daryl to get thrown.

Worse, he goes flying off and over the ridge edge, tumbling down into the stream valley below. Below the tree line, he hits rock and slides, finally hitting the stream hard as the horse takes off the opposite way above him.

As he lies in the water, grimacing in pain, we see that one of the crossbow bolts in his back pack has punctured his side and gone through. Under him, the water starts running red. He’s left gasping for breath and trying to fight the pain.

Scene 14: After a not-commercial break, Daryl has pulled his head together enough to stumble out of the water, holding his side and grunting with the effort to walk.

As soon as he reaches shore, he cuts a strip of shirt and ties it around his middle, applying pressure to his still bleeding wound. He takes a moment to look up at the rocky ridge which doesn’t exactly look clime-friendly.

Just as he’s trying to figure out how he’s going to get out of his predicament, he hears snapping twigs in the woods not far off. And his crossbow and remaining bolts are now submerged when he’d fallen.

Thankfully, he’s able to use a long stick to feel the stream bottom and locate his weaponry before he’s swarmed by anything.

Scene 15: With his head wound and bolt still piercing through his side, Daryl starts the arduous climb up the side of the ridge. It’s slow going and full of pained grunting and strain trying to find his footing.

Scene 16: Meanwhile, at the farm, Lori is puttering around the camp. She walks by Glen who immediately waylays her, despite her pre-empting him to tell him to mind his own business. But he’s completely stunned that she may be pregnant. She forces him to promise not to tell anyone. He’s just a surprised to find that Lori hasn’t told Rick anything, yet.

Meanwhile, Rick and Shane are coming up the road and it’s obvious that they’re still angry with one another. To Lori’s questioning, Rick admits that Shane believes they’re wasting their time by trying to find Sophia at this point. He tells her that Shane believes that his good intentions are making the group weaker by putting them at risk instead of dealing with the way the world is now.

Lori tells Rick that he’s not making anybody soft, he’s making the best decisions that he can with the information they have to work with. She believes they’re doing the right thing by not giving up on Sophia just yet.

Beth interrupts to summon Rick for Herschel.

Scene 17: Out in the woods, Daryl has made it three quarters of the way up the ridge. He struggles with the rest of the way as the ground is crumbling under his feet and there aren’t any good purchases.

 He ends up taking a bad tumble all of the way back down… with the bolt still through his body!

Scene 18: Rick finds Herschel out at the old garage, filling a generator with a can of fuel. Herschel has summoned Rick because of his missing horse - he wasn’t aware that one of Rick’s group was borrowing the steed, just adding to the tension of these strangers showing up and doing whatever they please that Herschel is so worried about.

 In addition, Herschel is pissed that Jimmy was putting himself in danger that day looking for the little girl. Rick tells Herschel that Jimmy told him outright that he’d gotten permission from Herschel to do so and took him at his word.

Herschel points out that Jimmy is seventeen and he feels responsible for keeping the boy safe. He tells Rick that he needs to control his people, and Herschel will work on controlling his. Rick is left to walk away with a sinking feeling in his stomach that this isn’t going to work out.

Herschel stares after him as he goes.

Commentary: At first, this really bugged me a bit about Herschel. Jimmy isn’t even his kid, so it wasn’t any of his business really. But then he mentioned that he’s a minor, so I was a little more forgiving, but still… if the kid lied to Rick’s face then it isn’t really on him that he just accepted his word. Herschel should be taking that to Jimmy with his sourpuss face.

What’s more, I was left with a sinking feeling myself about this farm. I can just see Shane and Andrea getting everybody else worked up and trying to foment taking over the farm by force, turning our group into the bad guys.

And the thing is, Herschel is doing NOTHING to help out the situation. If everybody would just get in the living room and talk about what the rules are and why and make it clear that Rick and he needs to know everything that is being planned so there aren’t any miscommunications, then this could still frickin’ work. But Mr. Greene is being tight-lipped and judgmental and especially passive-aggressive about welcoming or disdaining the newcomers. It’s making everything more stressful than it needs to be.

Scene 19: Out on the creek bed, Daryl lies in semi-consciousness. He’s come upon by Merle who tells him to pull the bolt out and bind the wound better. Daryl tries to backtalk but he’s weak. Merle continues to berate him for being weak.

We can’t help but get the idea that Merle isn’t actually there… seeing as how he has both of his hands.

Merle goes on to insult Daryl for risking his life for Carl and Sophia and the rest of them, when he was so quick to give up the search for his own brother. Hallucinated Merle is just as pleasant and couth as the real deal.

He continues telling Daryl what the others really think about him: that he’s trash, a redneck, a piece of shit that they’ll scrape off their shoes as soon as he’s worn out his use… etc.

Halluci-Merle tells Daryl that if he really shared blood with Merle, he’d go back and shoot Rick right in the face for what he did to him on that rooftop in Atlanta. He urges Daryl to his feet, by shaking him and yanking at him.

Oh, wait… no, that’s the WALKER trying to EAT HIS FOOT!

Daryl finally comes to just in time to realize that he’s in deepest shit. As he and zombie roll around the ground and Daryl tries desperately to find something to destroy the walker’s brain, another comes stumbling toward the commotion as well.

Walker One is done in with a thick branch slammed through his face, followed by it being driven through its head. As Walker Two shambled toward Daryl, he grabs hold of the bolt through his side and yanks it out.

He’s just able to get the string pulled back on his bow enough to fire the bolt into the second walker’s head, barely saving himself.

Commentary: This scene was excellent and the best of the episode. The sudden showing up of Merle really took me by surprise and I was wondering just how in hell he managed to track them all the way to the area, before I realized that he wasn’t missing a hand.

It became clear then that Daryl was hallucinating. I really liked the details of Merle’s rant, basically telling Daryl what we can guess are his own fears about how the others in Rick’s group think of him. And it was just great the way that Merle’s shaking Daryl [which shouldn’t have been possible, even with it all in Daryl’s head] was merged into it actually being a walker yanking on Daryl and biting at his boot.

The fight for Daryl’s survival, injured, huffing and puffing, still not clear headed was tense and exciting and I just loved the way the whole thing was filmed. And it’s always wonderful to have Michael Rooker on screen. I’m sure I mentioned this before in a season one review, but I just love him -- not his character, but I love the actor.

Scene 20: After another not-commercial break, we join Daryl again as he’s just coming around from passing out. He’s still lying on the ground next to the killed walkers and still feeling like crapola… especially since he’s now re-opened his wound.

After binding up his wound, Daryl tells himself that his brother was right… although what exactly about is left unclear - whether he is only listening to Halluci-Merle’s warnings about his dying out there, or whether he’s also thinking that he isn’t one of the gang, really.

Daryl cuts open the squirrel he’s shot earlier and eats more raw bits from the dead animal -- presumably the iron rich portions like the liver. He snatches up Sophia’s doll.

But then … guh… he cuts the ears off of the walkers and strings them onto a shoe lace from one of their boots. He wears the ears around his neck, like he’s in a Vietnam War movie… and he’s playing the mad soldier. It’s disturbing.

Scene 21: With himself now pumped back up, he tackles the ridge hill again.

Halluci-Merle appears again offering his real counterpart’s usual brand of encouragement by pointing out that Daryl is like a girl and calling him a pussy.

Daryl tells him he was climbing better when Halluci-Merle was missing, but that doesn’t drive the shade away, only getting Daryl laughed at.

As Daryl tries to get up that bitch of a last quarter to the top, he starts arguing with “Merle” about how little his brother ever did for him. Halluci-Merle continues to taunt Daryl about reaching out for his good friend Rick’s hand, before Daryl finally grabs the edge and is able to pull himself up. Halluci-Merle vanishes before Daryl can take a swing at him.

Commentary: This was another great scene between Michael and Norman and Halluci-Merle is hilarious. But what this scene really did was give us some fantastic insight into Daryl, and especially into his rocky past with Merle and the resentments he’s been keeping buried about how he REALLY feels about his missing brother. It’s some great character work, and both actors shine.

I started really wanting to like Daryl… but then I caught another gander at those ears around his neck and I shuddered instead. I started wondering if Rick was going to end up fighting off both Shane and Daryl and started adding Daryl to the list of the group who was going to turn on Herschel for control of the Greene farm. I was not happy.

Scene 22: At the top, and out of breath, Daryl shouts at Halluci-Merle that he’d better run.

Scene 23: At the Greene farm, Herschel comes into the dining room to the chatter of women in his kitchen. He finds Lori and Carol putting together dinner with Beth and Patricia. He’s not happy.

As Maggie comes in with a folding table to give them enough room, Herschel asks her what they’re up to. He’s pissy at not being told this was happening, Maggie shrugs it off as not being that big a deal. He goes on to tell her that they need to set some clear boundaries for “these people”. He warns her that they’re getting too comfortable. She replies that it’s just dinner.

With this tack not working, Herschel next asks her pointedly about whatever is going on “with the Asian boy” and her. He makes it clear that he suspects they’ve had relations, something which she doesn’t deny but she reminds him that she’s a little old to be chased after by daddy being told what she can do in that area.

She walks away a little bit peeved now, herself. Herschel warns her not to get close to them, as they won’t be staying.

Commentary: Oh, my god. Why is he such a prick?

Okay… actually, I do get his viewpoint. I understand why he wants to keep them all at arm’s length, and he actually turns out to be right. Rick’s group will be disruptive to them throughout the season -- but he’s coming across in such a bad light, it’s no wonder that nobody wants to listen to his crabby-faced moaning. If he’d just talk to people… all of them, not just Rick behind everybody else’s back… and talked, rather than lectured….

Scene 24: Outside, Dale asks Andrea jokingly what she’s up to, as she’s on the RV pointing a rifle out over the horizon. She doesn’t take it well, telling him prissily that she doesn’t want to wash clothes anymore and wants to protect the camp instead.

He’s taken off guard by her attitude, as he thought they’d gotten over her anger at him. He sighs and goes on into the RV with the water he’s lugging around. She sighs over coming across as a bitch.

[At least I hope that’s what her sigh was about, otherwise she can just kiss my and Dale’s asses.]

Scene 25: In the RV, Dale finds Glenn sitting at the tiny table. He offers he was returning the book he borrowed. Dale laments that he didn’t know the apocalypse had started, or he would’ve grabbed some better reading material.

Glenn asides to Dale about all of the women acting weird and wondering if they’re all on their periods. He remembers hearing that women could sync up if they’re around one another for too long. Dale suggests that he may want to keep that thought to himself.

Dale laughs with him, but then asks who else in camp is acting out of the ordinary.

Glenn brings up Maggie’s running hot and cold, and Lori. Dale asks, but Glenn doesn’t tell him about Lori being pregnant and not telling her husband. He does spill about his and Maggie having had sex and her turning on him afterward. Dale is more bothered by the sex part than Maggie’s emotional faucet and tells Glenn to see to it that Herschel doesn’t find out about it as they’re having enough problems getting along with their host.

Dale asks Glenn what the hell he was thinking, but shuts up when Glenn replies that he was thinking he could be dead tomorrow. Not having gotten the support that he’d hoped from Dale, Glenn leaves the RV in a huff.

Scene 26: On the RV, Andrea watches Glenn walking dejectedly away. Her attention is suddenly across the field, where she sees somebody stumbling out of the tree line. She starts shouting that they have a walker approaching.

We get a close up camera angle to let us know that the shambler is actually Daryl looking like he’s on his last energy reserves. But from the farm property, he’s too far away to make out.

Everybody starts reacting like an imminent attack is on.

Scene 27: Rick races up and asks if it’s just the one. Andrea checks with her binoculars, but the sun glare is blinding and she still doesn’t make out that this is Daryl returning. She can only tell that as far as she can see, there is only one walker approaching.

Andrea grabs up her rifle, but Shane interrupts to tell her to let him handle it. He doesn’t want her shooting up the place and she hasn’t practiced aiming yet.

Rick tells Shane that Herschel wants to handle walkers, but is blown off.

Shane Open-Shirt and T-Dog race for the field, while Rick goes into the RV to grab his stored gun.

Commentary: At first I was again really irritated with Herschel for being a control freak, right down to handling the walkers personally. He was really pissing me off this episode.

But there is something else going on and we’re not going to spoil that here. Let’s just say that Herschel had a good reason [from his viewpoint] for wanting to take care of the walkers rather than leaving them to Rick’s group. In retrospect, it’s … well, stupid of him… but more understandable that he isn’t just being a Tinytown Dictator.

Scene 28: Out in the field, as Daryl continues dragging his shambly ass toward base camp, Andrea gets impatient with being told what to do again. She raises the rifle and starts aiming. Meanwhile, T-Dog, Shane and Rick are racing toward the “lone walker”.

Daryl is looking bloody, exhausted and a little psycho - what with the ear necklace.

Scene 29: Through her scope, Andrea is frustrated that the sun’s glare is keeping her from aiming straight. She continues trying to get a shot over the guys’ heads, despite Dale trying to tell her not to shoot. Her reply is for him to back off.

Out in the field, the other three and Glenn stare down Daryl with their guns raised. Daryl reminds Rick that he’s been in the habit of pointing his gun in his face and wonders if he’s ever going to take the shot.

As everyone is laughing in relief, a shot echoes across the field and Daryl falls to the ground!

Scene 30: From the RV roof, Andrea gets a huge grin on her face… which quickly falls away in confusion as she hears Rick screaming “NO!” back at her.

Scene 31: From the house, everyone else runs down the property in answer to the rifle shot and the yelling.

Scene 32: In the field, Daryl huffs for air as Rick checks him. He finds a bloody laceration where Andrea’s improperly aimed bullet grazed his head. Daryl tells Rick he was kidding about taking the shot at him, as he and Shane struggle to support Daryl and get him back to the farmhouse.

Andrea and Dale meanwhile also run across the field to find out what went wrong.

She’s, of course, beside herself at the thought that she may’ve just killed one of their own. Glenn is more worried about the ear necklace he’s sporting.

Scene 33: Meanwhile, Lori takes off at a run to join her husband and find out how bad things might’ve gone. Herschel glares across the field at yet another reason he doesn’t want everyone carrying guns around his property.

Scene 34: In the field, Rick snatches off the necklace and stuffs it away, warning everyone to keep Daryl’s accessorizing to themselves for the moment. Theodore then lifts up the doll Daryl was carrying back and asks if it doesn’t look like the one Sophia had been carrying when she disappeared.

Scene 35: Later, Daryl has returned to consciousness and is lying across a bed in the farmhouse while Herschel works on sewing up the wound in his side.

Daryl tells Rick about finding the doll. Rick tells Shane that it will cut their search grid in half, to which Daryl sarcastically says they’re welcome.

Rick asks Herschel about Daryl’s wound, and the veterinarian complains about the rate of speed they’re going through their antibiotics. He also complains about Daryl’s taking off with his horse and not asking first. He offers to Rick that it’s a miracle that they’ve survived as long as they have.

Scene 36: In the hallway, Lori sits on the floor and waits for news on Daryl’s condition. She’s there when Rick and Shane come out with news that he’s going to be okay. But lets they celebrate something, Shane pipes up that Herschel was right in their not going back out after the condition Daryl came back in.

Rick can’t believe that Shane wants to stop the search now after their first evidence of where Sophia fled to.  Shane offers that it looks to him like Daryl almost died for a doll, which only angers Rick that he’s being so pessimistic about everything.

He storms off. Shane admits to Lori that he knows he’s sounding like a hard ass, but tells her that her husband isn’t making the hard choices that will guarantee their survival. Lori tells Shane that she may not agree with all of Rick’s decisions, but she respects him. She goes on to say that Shane is the one trying to do the easy things -- cutting their losses, not helping anyone else, turning selfish. His response is that the only people he cares about right now are her and Carl and he’s willing to do anything it takes to keep them safe.

She looks at him with pity and a bit of disgust when he can’t deny that means abandoning a lost child. She tells Shane that her and her son are no longer his problem to be worried about, or his excuse for being awful. She storms off, too.

Commentary: Of course, nobody yet knows just how far Shane will go to cling to the illusion that Lori and he are going to be together and that Carl is going to be his son. Otis was just the latest in ugly behavior by Shane and it’s not going to get any better.

I really liked this scene with Jon and Sarah, as both actors really did well with this dialog. I do wish that it was more explicitly stated that Sophia has been gone nearly four days now, and that she didn’t have the skills to survive on her own. Unfortunately, the script wants Shane to be an asshole -- which he is -- but he’s not completely without a valid point.

They have been running around the woods trying to find a girl who could be anywhere and is likely dead, or may as well be. I wish this scene had been handled with a bit more subtlety, rather than having Shane straight up tell them to abandon Sophia. It’d have been more convincing that he’s not the bad guy in this if he’d just pointed out to Rick that the longer this drags on, the more certain it is that Sophia is not going to be found alive and that they need to prepare Carol for letting go. He then could press Rick to set a deadline when they’re all going to have to accept that they’re not finding her and it’s over.

That is something they could’ve argued about without it making it seem like Rick is the good guy and Shane is the bad guy and we can just ignore the latter because he’ll always be wrong.

Scene 37: Out on the porch, Andrea is sitting and contemplating what she’d just done. Dale joins her. She asks after Daryl’s condition, but Dale is more concerned with how she’s doing.

She says in shock that she shot Daryl. Dale sits next to her and tells her not to be so hard on herself. He adds that all of them have wanted to shoot Daryl, breaking the tense moment with some welcome levity.

Scene 38: As evening sets, Lori is once again sitting with Carl. She’s weeping, but it’s not over Carl, who is out of the woods. It’s her momentous decision about what to do with her pregnancy in their circumstances.

Carol interrupts to tell her that dinner is getting on the table.

Scene 38: Dinner turns out to be an uncomfortable and tense experience filled with awkward silence. Glenn tries to liven up the mood by asking if anyone knows how to play the guitar they have with them, but Patricia shares that Otis could’ve.

As everyone returns to eating in silence, Maggie gets a small smirk on her face. It’s not over Glenn’s crash and burn, it’s just that she’s flirty. She passes him a note under the table. It’s to make a date to hook up that night.

They aren’t nearly as sneaky as they think and both Dale and Herschel catch the goofing around between them to Maggie’s embarrassment, though Glenn is clueless that they’ve been caught out. It keeps Maggie from immediately opening Glenn’s return response.

Scene 39: Upstairs, Daryl is lying in bed thinking over that day [and possibly wondering if being shot isn’t confirmation that Halluci-Merle wasn’t right in his not really belonging]. Carol comes in with a tray for him.

Daryl is uncomfortable and flinches away as Carol bends over him. She kisses him on the head, to his confusion. Daryl complains about her bothering his stitches, but Carol tells him that there is something that he needs to know.

She tells Daryl that he did more for Sophia in that day than her own daddy did for her in her whole life. Daryl counters he didn’t do anything that Rick or Shane wouldn’t have done, but she says that she knows that. She seemingly recognizes his feelings of not measuring up with the others in camp because of his rural background. She tells him that he’s every bit as good as any of them before leaving him with his tray of food.

Commentary: Kudos go again to Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride for this scene together. These two actors are wonderful when their characters are just softly talking to one another and they both have a real chemistry. I absolutely love their work together.

Scene 40: Later, Maggie is helping Beth with the dishes, when she pulls out Glenn’s note to see where he wants to meet her for sex that night. Her anticipating grin falls away as she reads that he’s thinking the hayloft….

Scene 41: At that moment, Glenn is making his way to the old barn away from the main house. He finds it locked up tight. But with some seeking and climbing, he’s able to make his way up to the inside of the loft.

Meanwhile, we see Maggie racing across the yard in a panic.

The reason is clear… Glenn finds that the barn is housing a dozen walkers!

He turns to run away, and dashes smack dab into Maggie. To his shocked and frightened face, she tells him looking afraid that he wasn’t supposed to see what was being kept in the barn.

Scene 42: The barn doors rattle against the chain and wood bar across them as the walkers are now agitated by Glenn’s flashlight in their faces.

We’re left to ponder what the hell Herschel is doing with a barn full of walkers.

Commentary: And I was left thinking: Is this as sinister as Maggie made it appear to be? Is she about to push Glenn down into the walker nest to keep the secret?

And what in the hell is going to happen when our group learns that the Greenes are keeping zombies in their barn? Why are they doing it? What is Herschel up to, and thank goodness is explains why he’s been such a squirrelly hard ass all episode! But WHY?

I loved this ending for the episode, especially the shots of both Glenn and Maggie looking like each is going to panic at any moment, and the shot of the barn doors there was an echo of the hospital doors that were similarly chained as the undead’s fingers reached through in the pilot.

It also offers an interesting revelation about the farmhouse’s safety. It’s not that the walkers haven’t been wandering by, it’s that they’re being collected for reasons unknown.

The Good: I really liked the opening being a flashback of Lori and Shane watching Atlanta being torched by the army. It really gives more information about why Shane was so adamant that returning to the city was suicide when Rick wanted so badly to get to the CDC. The napalming of Atlanta had to be front and center in Shane's mind. But I also like how we see Carol and Lori forming a bond even before they're in the quarry camp.

I really like how the after-credits opening scene reveals how everything is idyllic on the Greene farm, making it clear that the worst stuff has been avoided there. But the end reveals that it isn't at all that way, the seemingly walker-free zone is actually crowded with walkers and right under our survivor's noses.

I loved all of the scenes of Daryl being off on his own, but especially the surprise walker chewing at his boot and the way that Halluci-Merle kept humiliating and degrading him. It really says a lot about how Daryl sees himself through others eyes and it's such a shame, because I think everyone else would be shocked to learn that he believes they see him in such a poor light.

Totally "Yay" to Michael Rooker's guest spot: He always entertains me so, even if I loathe his character.

I loved that little moment of reapproachment between Andrea and Dale over Daryl's accidental shooting.

I also liked the way the episode ended with us not knowing if Maggie was about to do something sinister to Glenn or what the walker barn is all about.

The Bad: Nothing will go here.

Other Thoughts: Well, despite my pleasure at the opening, the CGI fire is just as bad as the CDC explosion. CGI on a TV budget just isn't up to fire yet, and they should really try to avoid it.

What I really liked about this episode is the ongoing personel problems between our characters: Rick/Shane, Lori/Shane,  Rick/Herschel, Andrea/Dale, Daryl/Everybody and Herschel/Everybody, but what is keeping it out of The Good, is the scripting. It's all just so heavy handed with keeping the conflicts from being resolved with a good sit down discussion and that starts turning it annoying. This is especially true between Rick and Shane and Rick and Herschel. I really wanted more care to be taken in showing that everybody has legitimate points to make and there is room for compromise if only somebody would make the effort, but the script is too busy assuring us that Rick is the good guy to be that subtle.

In addition, while I like the episode, this is another more sedate entry where A LOT of time is spent with random chit chat among the characters while not actually moving a greater plot forward. How many times is Rick and Shane going to argue over Sophia? How may times can Herschel look sternly at Rick over their differing opinions about walkers and how to defend the farm? How much more can we see random character wandering around the forests looking for Sophia and where the hell did she go so fast? Everything feels like we're standing still and waiting for the mid-season and we really could use more adrenaline.

The Score: 3.50 out of 5 stars

Next Up: Movie Review for "The Night Strangler", part of our Kolchak: The Night Stalker series.

Tags: walking dead season 2 review

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened