harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Walking Dead Reviewed: Season 02, Episode 08


The Walking Dead
Season 02, Episode 08


DIR: Clark Johnson, Writer: Evan Reilly

Blurb: In the aftermatch of the barn massacre, the group deals with the loss of Sophia and Shane's outraging Herschel's group.

Scene 01: We start off immediately following Rick's shooting of Sophia, as the camera focuses on Rick's gun. He lowers it, and then we refocus on the grim look on his face.

Commentary: And immediately, I am liking the direction. The closing of last episode with the crane shot was excellent, but I like that we're starting this episode both is silence, and more intimate with our tight focus on nothing but Rick.

Very nice directing.

Scene 02: As sound returns, we hear poor Carol sobbing in the background. Our focus shifts from Rick's haunted face to the body of Sophia lying at his feet with a bloody hole through her head.

The camera does a slow spin, as Rick half turns and looks at Shane. He then quarter turns, to see Lori's stricken face as she holds their sick-looking son.

Daryl tries to pull Carol away from the scene, but she sobbingly shoves him away, while the group continue standing in shock over how things have just played out.

Carol stumbles off, still sobbing uncontrollably [and entirely understandingly].

Commentary: And what I love here, is the complete lack of music. This scene is only natural sounds of our characters, and nature going on heedlessly in the background. I also love the moments of the aftermath of "Pretty Much Dead Already" is being allowed to stretch into agony. We're really seeing the awful shock, and brutal emotional turmoil that everyone is now suffering -- even Shane.

Scene 03: On the ground, Herschel sits in stunned silence, surveying his family gunned down in front of the barn, while Maggie holds onto his shoulder. Beth sobs with Jimmy, while Patricia - who has only just suffered her own loss - looks on with, apparently, sad acceptance.

Scene 04: Dale looks at Andrea, as she suddenly realizes just how much pain they've caused as she glances at Beth's wild sobbing.

Beth rushes to her mother's body, shoving Rick away as he tries to stop her.

She rolls over her mother's body to reveal a gunshot to her face. But almost immediately, Mrs. Greene shows that she didn't get hit by a headshot. She reaches up with snarling, grabbing Beth by her pigtails.

Beth screams, as her mother tries to pull her face down enough to tear into it.

The gang grab Beth to yank her away, as T-Dog responds by heavy-booting Mrs. Greene several times to the face. Andrea stops the attack with a scythe to the back of the undead's head.

Scene 05: As Beth hysterically cries in all-but-collapsing, Herschel struggles to pull himself together and everyone else keeps staring at one another, unsure of what to do now that the immediate crisis, caused by Shane, has passed.

Scene 06: Patricia, Maggie, Beth and Herschel stumble back up the walkway to the house, while Glenn, Rick and Shane follow.

Shane accuses Herschel of knowing the entire time that Sophia was in the barn, while they'd been out desperately searching for her. Rick tries to tell Shane this isn't the time, but Shane violently shoves Rick's hand of him and tells him to get off.

[Oh, SHUT UP SHANE! This isn't the time for this shit, you asshole.]

Herschel and Maggie both tell him that they didn't know, but Shane won't buy it. Herschel explains that Otis would be the one who'd know, because he was the one who would put the walkers into the barn. Shane doesn't believe it, and asks if Herschel thinks he's an idiot [well, Shane, if the boot fits...], but Herschel - still looking sick, and in shock - tells him he doesn't care what Shane believes.

Rick steps in between the two, and tries to calm the situation, but Shane is not to be deterred from escalating things by stepping into Herschel's face, despite Rick grabbing at him, and Maggie trying to shove him back. Maggie slaps Shane across the face, and shouts in his face not to touch her father.

The Greenes and Patricia go into the house, but not before Herschel tells Rick that he wants Shane off of his land.

Scene 07: After a moment, Glenn decides to follow behind Maggie. Rick is left to glare his disapproval at Shane, as the latter tries to get ahold of his anger.

Rick confronts Shane on what he's doing, and Shane points out that Herschel put them all in danger by keeping a barnful of walkers without warning them, and he's still convinced [or trying to stubbornly convince himself] that Herschel knew exactly where Sophia was. But Rick, having seen Herschel's reaction, believes that the family didn't know that Otis had located her, and placed her in the barn with the others.

[Remember, that Otis and Shane had to rush off to get the medical equipment to save Carl, and Shane sacrificed/murdered Otis before the guy could hear about the little girl our group had lost.]

Rick shouts at Shane that he was handling the situation with the tense relationship with Herschel's group, and now it's blown up on them because Shane couldn't control himself. But Shane is equally angry at Rick for sending them out day after day trying to find a little girl they both knew was already dead. He accuses Rick as being just as delusional about their situation as Herschel.

He storms off.

Credits Stroll By, With Wonderful Theme [and I'm seeing more to the scenes than I remember there being... I think Netflix is including longer cuts than AMC did originally... or I just don't remember correctly]

Scene 08: Andrea is standing over a body, which turns out to be Sophia. She's gotten a ratty blanket from somewhere, and with sorrow, covers the child's body.

She's obviously deeply affected by their losing her. She also glances back toward their camp, with concern for Carol.

Scene 09: In Dale's RV, Carol sits forlornly. Daryl skittishly comes in. They share an uncomfortable silence.

Scene 10: In the Greene home, Glenn waits for Maggie to respond to his being there for her.

Glenn asks Maggie if she had known that Sophia was in the barn. She turns and glares at him. She marches over in front of him and sits heavily on a sofa, wordlessly accusing him of distrusting her word. Glenn bristles under her glaring.

Glenn walks to a window, and tries to comfort himself that this may've been for the best, as at least his group can now move on from worrying over Sophia's fate. He's so concentrated on what finding Sophia meant to the group, that he doesn't notice Maggie's reaction to his suggesting they can all just "move on" now.

Maggie questions what happens next, and Glenn tells her they'll bury her, along with Maggie's stepmother and stepbrother. He doesn't catch that Maggie is wondering about whether Glenn will stay or leave her, now that the ostensible reason for the group having stayed on the Greene farm is resolved.

He walks over and kisses the top of her head, admitting he doesn't know what they'll do after they tend to the bodies.

Scene 11: Andrea remains kneeled over Sophia, while Dale wanders in shock. In the background, Shane is returning from his latest argument with Rick.

Carl is talking to his mother, admitting to Lori that he thought he'd be the one to find Sophia alive, like he'd find her hiding place and be the one to bring her back to them. He also offers that his dad did the right thing in shooting Sophia, and he would've done it himself.

Rick also returns, while Lori asks Dale to take Carl back to the house, with admonishment at Carl that she wants him to rest.

Lori seems disturbed by her son's admission that he'd taken on so much responsibility for bringing Sophia back to the group, his telling her he would've shot her, too, and by his seemingly unaffected manner in the aftermath of the shock at finding her a walker.

Scene 12: Rick surveys the carnage still left in front of the barn. T-Dog suggests they start burying. Andrea tells the remaining: Rick, Shane, Jimmy, T-Dog and Lori that they need to have a service for Carol. Lori suggests proper graves for Sophia, and Herschel's wife and son. She also asks Jimmy for a truck to move the remains.

Shane goes to get a truck. Jimmy asks about the others, because of the number of bodies. Andrea tells him they'll bury their loved ones, and cremate the rest.

As everyone starts to get organized, Lori takes Rick aside and whispers to him about what Herschel said. Rick admits that Herschel has ordered them off of the farm, or at least Shane. Lori isn't surprised, considering.

Rick is distracted, and Lori gets from him that he feels like a heel sending everyone out to find Sophia, while she was right there the whole time [basically taking Shane's rant at him to heart]. Lori tries to comfort him, but Rick storms off, angry at himself for having their people "chasing a ghost in a forest".

Commentary: I am really liking the way this episode is slowed down, and really dealing with the horror for everybody to find that Sophia is not only dead, but had been for who knew how long, and then with this aftermath of their slaughter of the walkers. Most of them were really on Shane's side, during his rant - especially Andrea and Theodore. But it is suddenly an entirely different feeling, now that they've also had to gun down Sophia.

A problem with the farm setting has been how sedate many episodes largely were while we repetitively talked about/searched for the missing Sophia. But this slow-roll is entirely appropriate, and I am liking the direction and the dialog for our characters as they deal with the cleanup, and their own feelings over what has happened.

And even though I disagree vehemently with the way Shane went about things, I do agree that the walkers were an unacceptable risk. I just wish that Shane and Rick could be co-leaders, using their yin-yang relationship to even one another out and make the group's decision-making stronger. But I just don't see how Rick and Shane are going to be able to repair their relationship, and Lori is in an unbearably complicated situation.

I wish Shane would leave now, really. Things "ain't like they were", just as he said. But it's not just the world, as he was talking about, it's him. He's just not "group material"... especially if everyone else isn't down with using force and violence to get their own way on Herschel's property.

Scene 13: At the truck Shane is getting to move the bodies, he sees Dale. They both stare at one another, with Dale's dislike of Shane very clear.

Shane adjusts the side mirror to see Dale continuing to glare at him. He's about to put the truck in drive, but instead opens the door, and asks Dale if there is something he wants to say at him.

When Dale doesn't answer, Shane launches out of the truck and marches at him. He rants at Dale over what he does to keep the camp safe, other than tinkering with the RV (which ain't nuthin' Shane) and hiding guns. He accuses Dale of doing nothing to protect the camp, including not shooting Shane when he believes him to be such a threat. He rants further that he protected Carl by smashing his way into the barn and taking care of the walker threat, unlike everybody else who did nothing.

Dale doesn't respond to any of this. Shane disgustedly marches back to the truck, throwing over his shoulder that the next time he needs a radiator hose, he'll give the old man a shout.

Commentary: I like the handling here of Shane, and Jon's performance, because if you watch his face, you can see that despite his assurances that he did the right thing, he's not altogether sure that he did it in the right way. He's almost desperate here to make someone admit that he was in the right to protect the camp from the potential threat of the walker barn, but his desperation in itself seems to suggest that he knows that he let his anger overcome his judgement, and has in fact made things worse by alienating their host.

Or, I'm just so desperate myself for some reason not to exile Shane - who I do think the group needs to counter Rick's overly optimistic view, that I want to see some path for his calming the hell down going forward. I'll let you make the call on that one.

Scene 14: A bit later, and Shane, Jimmy, T-Dog, and Andrea are digging the three graves for those to be buried. Lori occupies herself by finding appropriate stones to lay over the dirt as markers.

Shane is again looking like he's not sure that his rash actions were worth what has happened now, and looks to Lori. She notices, but only looks as unsure of what they've done as he does now.

Scene 15: Lori goes to the RV, to tell Daryl and Carol that they're ready to lay Sophia to rest. Carol isn't interested.

She tells them that what they're burying isn't Sophia, but only some thing. She goes on that she was afraid for her being lost, but her daughter wasn't lost in the woods, she wasn't afraid or hungry or cold. Her daughter was already dead, while Carol was worrying.

No one knows what to say to that, so Lori backs out of the RV to tell the others to go ahead. Daryl continues to stay with Carol, though clearly he doesn't know what to say or do for her. He finally gets up and leaves, as well [presumably as the second most affected character since he'd put so much passion into finding her, he wants to be at the makeshift service].

Commentary: I just want to say again how much I enjoy Melissa McBride's work. When we first started, I was annoyed with her character pretty quickly, because she was the obvious load (along with the kids, but they were understandably so). I was trying to gird myself to endless scenes of her being a doormat, and generally useless waste of resources and hoped that she'd die relatively quickly.

But by this point, the actor has been very strong, keeping me on her character's side and making me want her to make it through this disaster in spite of myself.

[Later, this character will be one who has undergone a 180-degree change, and is easily one of my favorite characters. But I can honestly say that hasn't influenced my opinion here: Even during first watch, I found myself liking Carol more and more based solely on Melissa's work.]

Scene 16: Back in the Greene house, Herschel stares at a photograph of his wife. He in their bedroom, where he know begins the task of putting her jewelry and clothes away in boxes.

As he digs into a tie drawer, we think he's going to dress up for his wife's service, but he instead pulls out a flask and gives it a long stare, before suddenly walking away.

Scene 17: Outside, the funeral proceeds. And Herschel did dress up in a suit. Carol is not there. And strangely, Daryl isn't either.

Everyone stares at the three mounds of dirt, and then wordlessly separate, all in different directions.

Scene 18: Elsewhere, Carol is sitting next to and picking a petal from the Cherokee Rose bush where Daryl convinced her that they were going to find her little girl. She has a sudden breakdown, sobbing, and yanking at the pickerbush in rage.

Scene 19: After the funeral, it's time for the disposal of the rest of the corpses. Andrea and T-Dog load them into the flat bed of the truck, while Dale waits. Rick joins them, and Andrea offers how lucky they were that there weren't any more of them in that barn.

T-Dog expresses the opinion that Shane did the right thing, to the appalled reaction of Dale. Rick points out that this stunt will cost them with Herschel. Andrea believes he'll come around when he realizes there wasn't any choice. T-Dog isn't at all bothered, believing that keeping the walkers so close was too dangerous to tolerate. Dale agrees they needed a way to handle the problem, but feels that Shane created a panic where it wasn't needed. Lori was off-screen, but she now tells Dale that arguing about it won't get them anywhere now: What's done is done, now.

Theodore and Andrea take the truck to unload the last of the bodies into their pyre. The others don't accompany them.

Scene 20: In the Greene home, Beth is busying herself with dishes in the background as Maggie confronts Glenn about whether he'll stay if his group leaves, now. Glenn is caught up short, having not thought that far ahead, but Maggie is determined to talk about this so she knows where she (and he) stand.

Their conversation about that status of 'them' is interrupted by the crash of dishes, as Beth suffers a collapse.

Scene 21: Beth is taken to her room, where she lies with her eyes open on the bed, but otherwise unresponsive to her sister.

Lori rushes in to join Maggie and Glenn, and asks after Herschel, as she guesses that Beth has gone into shock. Glenn reports that they couldn't find him anywhere. Lori runs back out to search the grounds.

Scene 22: A bit later, and Rick and Shane have joined Maggie in her father's room as they look for clues as to where he might've gone. Rick notes the women's clothes in a box sitting on the bed, and Maggie reminds him that her father had been so sure that she'd recover.

Shane finds Herschel's flask, and Maggie identifies it as her grandfather's. Rick is mildly surprised, as he hadn't taken Maggie's father for a drinker. Maggie clarifies that her dad did drink, but he gave hit up the day she was born and wouldn't even allow liquor in the house.

Rick asks after his former favorite bar in town. Which Maggie knows, for some reason. Rick offers that is where he'll find him. Glenn offers to show him where it is, as he passed it during a supplies run. Maggie doesn't want Glenn to go, specifically mentioning the supposed-to-be-easy run to the pharmacy, and Rick leaves them discussing it.

Commentary: Yah, ok. It's a bit much to have Maggie know Herschel's favorite bar in town, when he hadn't had a drink since her birth. And it seems supremely fortunate that the former bar is still there, instead of it being torn down for an auto insurance storefront in the intervening decades.

I fought an eye-roll, I'm not gonna lie. But once the impulse passed, I can handwave this as Herschel being unusually more open in his younger years, than the taciturn man we've met.

Scene 23: In the hallway, Lori is irritated that Rick is running off without even discussing it with her. And Shane, of course, has to share his useless two cents, which not shockingly - is the opposite of whatever Rick thinks they should do.

Shane runs off, when conversation turns to what they owe Herschel after what they did to 'his family' in the barn.

Lori's beef is how Rick keeps running off to solve everyone else's problem, while his son is growing cold and distant. She tells Rick that Carl needs his father alive and with them. Rick counters that they need Herschel for when the baby arrives.

Commentary: Oh, Andrew Lincoln... I'm so into you. *LeSigh*

Scene 24: A bit later, and Rick is waiting at another vehicle for Glenn, who is having trouble pealing himself away from a very worried Maggie.

Glenn seems preoccupied when he gets in the truck, and Maggie is tense as she watches Glenn go.

Scene 25: Behind the barn, Shane washes his head in cool well water, and tries to pump more into a bucket. He hears rustling and sees a shape in the woods nearby, and goes for his sidearm.

The shape belongs to Carol, who is returning from her ragefest at the Rose bush. Carol is dirty, bloody and stumbling in an unresponsive manner to his calls for her.

Shane leads her to the well pump, and washes her arms and hands, as Carol sits numbed and uncommunicative. He gives his sympathy for what Carol just went through, and offers that when he opened the barn he'd had no idea they'd find her there. He seems genuinely contrite. He offers that he was just trying to keep everyone safe. Carol doesn't respond.

Commentary: I'm so glad that this scene was included. Shane, as written - and as (over)acted - is swerving a little too close to a psycho, for it to be entirely believable that only Dale is afraid of him. So, it's nice for his character to pull back a little, and show that underneath the angry bravado and justified paranoia for their safety, there is still a real person in there, capable of compassion and regret.

Again, I wish he and Rick could get on the same page, even if their writing different paragraphs and work together from their differing viewpoints. But for that to happen, Shane would need to stop turning every discussion into a loud argument.

Scene 26: In front of the house, Lori is headed back toward the encampment with Dale, who offers that things are coming apart in front of them.

Dale is still pissed at Shane's over-the-top violence, but Lori is more sympathetic to his having taken care of a problem that had to be addressed sooner, rather than later. And a risk to them all has been taken care of.

Lori admits Shane is a hothead, but Dale has seen too much now that the others haven't witnessed. He tells Lori that Shane is dangerous. And drops on her that he thinks that Shane killed Otis, which stops Lori short.

She tells Dale that Otis was killed by walkers, but he isn't buying that story. He reminds her that Otis knew his way around the walkers, since he was the one who had been corralling them to the barn. She's tells him that she needs to be clear on what he's saying, and he straight out tells her that he thinks Shane sacrificed Otis deliberately.

Lori can't cope with this, but Dale tells her that Shane all but threw it in his face that he'd killed Otis, even though Dale can't prove anything. He warns Lori that he's seen Shane's type before, and he's going to kill again.

Scene 27: In the car on the way into town, Rick notices Glenn's troubled distraction. He tells Rick that Maggie said that she loves him, but he's trying to discount it, because she's upset and confused. Rick tells him that she's old enough to know what she feels, and asks what the problem is - which is that Glenn didn't say it back, and feels that they don't even know one another. He admits that she's the only girl, outside of his family, who has ever said that to him. But she doesn't know anything about him, really.

As they pull up to the bar, he tells Rick that he was the one who got Lori those pills. Rick blows it off. Glenn apologizes anyway, but Rick tells him he did what he thought was right.

Scene 28: Back at the farm, Beth's breathing is shallow, and she's very pale and remains unresponsive to Patricia and Maggie.

Lori, Andrea and Jimmy nervously wait for Herschel to be retrieved, but nobody knows what else they can do for her.

Andrea walks over to Lori and tells her Beth is burning up, and her heart is racing. They need Herschel. Lori asks Andrea to look in on Carl for her, and rushes out.

Scene 29: Elsewhere, Daryl has set up a tent far away from everyone else. Lori jogs up and asks him if he's moving to the suburbs [heh - I liked that]. She tells Daryl that she needs him to go after them, and bring Herschel back.

But Daryl isn't interested. Lori asks him why he's being so selfish, and Daryl responds with a mini-rant about how he'd been out there every single day looking "for that little girl".

He points out that he'd been shot and gotten an arrow through him, trying to do the hard work for the group. He rants that if she wants to find "those two idiots", then to go herself. He's done looking for people.

[And in his ranting, calls her 'Olive Oyl'... which was hilarious.]

Scene 30: In town, Rick and Glenn bust into the bar with their guns ready. They don't find any walkers, just Herschel sitting at the bar.

Rick tries to get Herschel to come back to the house, informing him of Beth's trouble. But Herschel feels stupid, useless and despondant over thinking of his wife and the others as just sick. He offers he doesn't have anything to give to Beth.

And worse, Herschel has become hopeless.

Scene 31: Back at the house, Lori decides she can't wait any longer. She decides to also drive into town and find either her husband, or Herschel, or hopefully everybody.

Unfortunately for her, she's chosen the one empty road that a walker decides to cross, just as her eyes are off the road for a moment, to check her map.

She hits the walker dead on, which causes her to lose control of the car, and sends it careening off the road and into a flip. [And while everyone else on the interwebz were lambasting her, all I could think of was -- 'Shit, the baby!'.]

Scene 32: In the bar, Glenn asks Rick if they're just going to wait for Herschel to pass out, so they can get him home.

Herschel tells them to go, but Rick returns that he'd promised Maggie to bring him home safe. Drunk!Herschel throws in Rick's face that he'd promised Sophia that, too. So Rick asks him what his plan is, to just drink himself to death and leave his girls alone?

Herschel goes on mean!drunk rant about Rick's group being a plague who gave shelter to, doing the Christian thing, just to have them destroy everything.

And of course, Herschel's real problem is how he'd refused to see the walking dead as dead. Until that moment when Shane kept shooting Lu in the chest, and she wouldn't stop coming. He'd realized in that moment, what an old fool he'd been the entire time. That is when he realized there was no hope left for any of them... and he saw that moment when Rick lost all hope, too. The moment when he'd seen Sophia come out of the barn, Herschel had seen the look on Rick's face.

Scene 33: Back at the farm, off a distance away, Shane and T-Dog are still unloading another set of dead. They unload in silence, but after they've got them piled like cordwood, Theodore asks Shane how many times they'll need to do this....

Commentary: Okay, what?? Isn't this what T-Dog and Andrea were doing? How are they still doing this... and why is the funeral pyre not burning?

Clearly, there have been some editing shenanigans, and needless scene has really screwed up continuity. It's hard enough to keep track of where everyone is, and who is currently doing what at the same times, without obviously editing scenes in a jumbled order! WHY was this scene needed?? And if it was a "we're a little short" thing... why did they put it so drastically out of order?! It's clear that this scene should've come before Shane was splashing the cold water over his head, and even then, it doesn't explain why Andrea suddenly stopped helping.

It's these little, clumsy things that really bug me. Especially, when the scenes aren't adding anything.

Scene 34: Back in the bar, Rick tells Herschel he isn't doing this anymore with him. He asks what difference it makes whether death is coming by heart attack, or cancer, or walker: Death is Death, and it's always been there. And Herschel didn't think it was hopeless before. He tells Herschel that they have people back at the house who are trying to go on, and they need their leaders to act like they can be okay, even if they don't believe it themselves... Rick glances over at Glenn, with apologies.

Herschel finishes his whiskey, and then flips his glass over to show that he's ready to go back and pretend for the others.

But before they can leave, a pair of strangers comes strolling into the bar....

Scene 35: After the initial shock, our newcomers Dave and Tony, introduce themselves and Rick pours a round of whiskey.

Dave offers that he and Tony met on the road, escaping Philly.

They appear to be decent on the surface, and offer regret to Herschel when told about our group's losses that day.

[I don't know... there is a look on Tony's face... hmmm.]

Rick asks after they're being so far south of Philly, and Dave relates that they tried to get to D.C. to a refugee camp that they'd heard was being organized, but the roads were so jammed up, they couldn't even get close.

Dave asks where Rick's group is headed, and then tell Rick that Fort Benning is a no-go. He says that they met a grunt that had been stationed there, and the place was already overrun.

Dave then observes that it doesn't look like the three of them are settled in at this bar, and asks after whether they're holed up somewhere else. Rick takes a moment and replies "not really"... seemingly feeling off about their guests.

Dave then mentions it didn't look like they'd been living out of their cars, either. Glenn, due to being naive - and Herschel due to being drunk, feed a little more information than comfortable to two strangers who've they just met, while Rick continues to be circumspect about the group's current arrangements on Herschel's farm.

Things start to get a bit more tense, and questions turn more pointedly to where Rick, Glenn & Herschel are staying and Rick continues to share very little. Even Glenn is starting to get a distracted worry look on his face about how much to say to these strangers.

Tony steps a few steps across the room, and starts peeing right in front of everybody, and Rick is obviously keenly aware of the guys' guns.

Dave starts guessing they're staying on a farm, with food and water and shelter. Tony asks if they got any 'cooze' and shares he hasn't had any tail in weeks, causing the tension to rise as Glenn and Herschel both start feeling that these two men might be a threat, just by their behavior, and Dave's insistence on learning where our three are staying, and how many in their group there may be [and not very subtly, despite his attempts to keep an easy-sounding tone of voice].

Dave offers now that they have a "few buddies" who are having a hard time, and wants to pool their resources, but Rick tells him that taking in a few more isn't an option. Which causes a hard look from Tony.

They continue to push for Rick to lead them back to this farm, so they can all get to know each other. And our group continues to say no, because - ostensibly, they can't take in anymore, and because Rick tells Dave that they don't know him or his group.

Scene 36: The tension rachets up when Tony angrily tells Rick he could put a bullet in their heads, and take their farm.

Dave tries to calm the situation, by yelling Tony down. He hops across the bar, and tells Rick that nobody is going to shoot anybody. Rick notes that Tony has a hand on a handgun tucked in the back of his trousers, but Dave puts his pistol on the bar to show that this doesn't need to turn into a violent skirmish.

Dave makes a sudden move, possibly for his gun, and Rick guns him down immediately with a quick-draw. Before Tony can respond, Rick spins on his heel and plugs him in the chest, and then the shoulder and then the gut, before delivering a shot to the head.

[And this is subtle, but it is definitely a heavy hint to something that we'll find out from Rick at the season end...]

[And so much for Rick's insistence in S1 that "we don't kill the living...", and things are only going to continue getting more brutal from here, until S7's premiere when I've gotten stuck on being able to continue... but will do so for these reviews - if I ever get that far... *sigh*...]

Commentary: This is the first instance when we've gotten Rick- RICK - gunning down civilians in order to protect the group. But, I think the set up was pretty clear that Dave and Tony were not looking to peacefully settle down by their piggish behavior and I'm comfortable that Dave's folksy freindliness was an act, and he was going for that gun to force our group to reveal where they were staying, and their defenses.

I'm fully behind Rick's choice here as the right one, but it's also jarring as we see Rick take that first step down the road of acclimating to this new world of brutal violence of people vs. people.

Scene 37: At the farm, Andrea has joined T-Dog and Shane again, as they start burning the dead bodies from the barn.

In the meantime, Rick gazes down on very dead Tony.

Rick looks over at Glenn, who is obvs not okay with how things just collapsed.

[They picked a great song for these scenes of emotional devastation, too. KUDO to the music director for this choice.]

Scene 38: We flash back to the farm for a quick view of Shane and Theodore staring into the funeral pyre, as Andrea stands near the truck...

[Perhaps as a nod that what we've seen of our group being in an Us vs. the Dead, is burning away, as we move into the more ugly world of survivor vs survivor....]

The Good: I really loved the first shot, and way that the immediate aftermath of Sophia's shooting isn't glided past. The way the scene play out with starting in utter silence is terrific.

Also, I just generally like this episode being slow and allowing the group to deal with the shock and sorrow at how they finally found Sophia, and what it means to each of them. This could've been glided over to get to the next walker set piece, and I'm glad that they didn't do that.

I like the way Shane is handled in this episode; He's still brash and "in the right" when talking to Rick, bristling really at his loss of sole leadership of the group. But when he's one on one, especially with Carol, he suddenly allows himself to be vulnerable, and to -maybe- doubt how he forced things so strongly.

Melissa McBride. She has a devastating scene or two in this one and is great. I also really want to kudo the scene with Shane and Carol, as he's washing her cuts at the well pump.

Really loved the ending track's use: 'The Regulator', Clutch.

The Bad: The editing here, back at the farm, is a mess. Characters keep popping up in different places than where they should be in the narrative, indicating quite clearly that scenes were shuffled around. It's possible that the episode was running short too, as some scenes feel like they were inserted just to fill in a few minutes running time, without any other necessity.

Other Thoughts: I liked the way that the scene played out with Dave and Tony's seeming relieved to find others alive, but then slowly getting more and more 'off', until Tony finally gets threatening. And the sudden gun violence of Rick killing them both was pretty dramatic. But... but... I do feel like the scene was played a bit long - especially once Dave started losing the facade, and Tony just felt clumsy, not already having his gun pointed at Rick's back when the jig was all-but-up on their folksy fakeness.

The Score: This was a solid episode to deal both with Sophia's loss, and the introduction of the idea that the walkers aren't the only threat, that other survivors are going to be a danger to our group. It marks a distinct darkness entering the series for everyone, rather than just Shane.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Tags: walking dead season 2 review

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