harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

TWD reviewed: S2's Triggerfinger


The Walking Dead
S2, E9


DIR: Billy Gierhart
Writer: David Leslie Johnson

Blurb: Herschel, Rick and Glenn come under fire of the people that Dave and Tony were travelling with. Lori has to deal with being alone and trapped in her car wreck.

Scene 01: We start with Lori being unconscious in her tipped vehicle after her road accident last episode. Outside of the smashed windshield, a walker tries to gain access to the passenger compartment. Lori is just coming around, and noticing the zombie trying to push its way through the windshield, as we go to...

Those Darned Interrupting Credits

Scene 02: Meanwhile, we rejoin "Steve's Pharmacy" from outside as we hear Rick's gunshots killing Tony and Dave.

Inside, Rick stands over Tony's body staring down, with Herschel staggering up behind him.

[The camera angle is bugging the shit outta me. It's fancy directing just to pull focus onto the man in the seat, rather than the scene. The angle suggests someone lying on their side looking up at Rick and his gun -- but since Tony is both dead, and not a walker, this doesn't make any sense. No. It's just a "look at me, look at me" gesture.]

Glenn comes up from stage-right with a soft, "Holy shit". All three continue to stare at what Rick's pistol has wrought.

Rick asks after the others, and Glenn assures him he's alright but Herschel is too stunned by the sharp swerve to answer.

Scene 03: Rick stares at the others for a moment, earning nods - very reluctantly from Herschel - that it was necessary.

Herschel suggests they get back to the farm, and Rick and Glenn takes guns and ammo off the bodies. As they're getting ready to make their way out to their cars, they hear another vehicle pulling up.

Outside, our trio can hear men's voices calling for Dave and Tony, and mentioning the gunshots. There are tense moments as our thugs' group begin a search for their missing men, with our guys trapped in the bar.

Commentary: There is some nice work here by Andrew, Steven, and Scott to bring home the tense situation with Steven especially strong.

Scene 04: Meanwhile, in her wreck, Lori come-to suddenly with a gasp of air. And just in time! The walker she pulled the swerve to avoid hitting is making its way - face first - through the windshield!

As Rick, Glen and Herschel are trapped in the bar, Lori is also trapped in the wreck of her car crash.

She tries to crawl out, but can't keep her grip on the window above her (with the car lying on its side) and falls back in. The activity riles up the undead, and it pushes itself deeper into the compartment. As Lori tries to find anything she can use to defend herself, the undead manages to grab a handful of hair!

She's able to break off the signal wand from the steering column, and shoves this into the zombie's eye, deeply.

[Oh, jeezus. No, she doesn't. She pretends to, and then it's replaced with a god-awful CGI wand.]

Lori squeezes out of the car, huffing and puffing and wiping at blood from her nose. She stares down at her attacker, and so doesn't notice the second walker rushing up behind her.

They both tumble! Lori shrugs out of her grabbed jacket and starts crawling desperately away from this second walker, while it continues to grab at her legs!

Grabbing up the hubcab that flew off the car, she power-smacks the second attacker across the head, buying her a handful of seconds. She then spots her gun lying in the car and dashes after it, as the zombie staggers back up to its feet.

She's able to shoot it through the head, giving her some time to pull herself together.

Commentary: Except that awful CGI, this scene was terrific. It was tense, and the direction was well handled. I really enjoyed that bit.

Scene 05: Back at the farmhouse, everyone is laying out for dinner, with Andrea concerned that the others should've been back by now. As everyone is trying to buck up Carl's feelings, just now everyone starts worrying that nobody has seen Lori in a while. Andrea mentions that she asked her to look in on Carl, but tells the others she didn't say anything about going after Rick and Glenn.

Shane, though, suspects and calls for everyone to search the property to see if she's there.

Commentary: And this would be an example of a scene that was rightly criticized about season 2's pacing issue, overall. This scene added nothing and wasn't necessary. We could've simply had a short jump here to Shane asking if anyone's seen Lori, realizing she's gone after her husband without telling anybody her plans and then - no doubt in a snit - told the others to stay put, while he rushes off to find her.

The domestic scene first wasn't necessary and we've had too many of these type of scene fillers already throughout the first half of the season. It also doesn't help that we're leaving where the action is: Lori on the road, and Rick in the bar for a place where nothing is happening.

Scene 06: In the meantime, Rick, Glenn & Herschel are stuck in the bar with the dead bodies of the two men Rick shot, and just outside are their friends, looking for them.

With the others not leaving, Rick whispers that they'll head out of the back and rush to the car. But that plan quickly goes nowhere as the enemy makes noise close by, and quickly begin to investigate the bar to see if Tony and Dave are hogging the liquor.

They start to come in, but Glenn sits his back against the door to keep them out. This causes the other group to shout for whoever is in the bar. The guy at the door tells them that they're not looking for any trouble, but are just trying to find their friends, leaving our group to uncomfortably glance over at the two killed.

Rick tries to explain that their friends drew on him, and left him no choice. Herschel gives Rick a "what did you do that for" glare of disbelief.

Rick tries again to talk down the coming gunfight, but the others are not interested in his excuses for gunning down their two teammates. They open fire through the windows causing our group to have to flee away from the front of the bar and hopefully find the back unwatched by the new hostiles.

Commentary: I liked the slow build up to Rick finally shouting out to these other people, and his desperation not to have to shoot at anybody else tonight. It was well acted by Andrew, and I kinda laughed at Herschel's pissed off glare at him when he broke the stalemate by admitting there were people in the bar and that their friends were already dead.

Scene 07: In the meantime, at the farm, Darryl is still being an asshole out in the woods. Carol rushes up to his campfire to tell him about their missing people.

This leaves Carol ticked off at him for not saying anything and basically shutting himself away from everyone else.

She starts to walk away, but then changes her mind. She asks him not to go this route. He's angry.

Scene 08: Gathered outside, Dale and Andrea try to comfort Carl that everyone will be alright. T & Shane say that they haven't found her. Carol comes up and tells them about Lori asking Darryl to go after the others, so it's obvious now that she went herself.

Shane speeds off in one of the other cars....

Scene 09: Back at the bar, Rick again shouts out to the others that this isn't going to end well if they don't just accept the loss and move on. Our group hears something from the back, and Glenn is chosen with one of the dropped rifles to check out whose trying to sneak up on them. He's very, very less than calm about it.

Someone rattles the doorknob at the back of the bar, and Glenn lets loose with a shot but doesn't appear to hit anyone.

Scene 10: Meanwhile, Shane speeds up on the site of Lori's wreck. He hoarsely calls out for her, but gets no response and there isn't any sign of her, but the put down walkers she left.

Scene 11: At the bar, Rick tells Herschel he'll hold them off at the front, while the old man covers Glenn as they both get the car and bring it around to the back exit. Herschel isn't thrilled with this idea, either, but Rick jokes that the gun training he missed would've come in handy about now. Herschel responds angrily that he knows how to shoot, he just doesn't like to. He goes for the back to see if Glenn is still okay.

Scene 12: Glenn is not okay. He's nearly in a panic (who can blame him) at the thought that gunmen may rush the back entrance and he'll have no choice but to kill or get killed.

Herschel scares the piss out of him, and nearly gets a rifle shot to the chest. Glenn is sent on his way to try to reach the car down a dark back alley, while Herschel covers him from the back door.

A guy at the end of the alley pops into view behind Glenn and takes two shots -- Glenn goes down!!

Herschel returns fire. The guy goes down, alive, but definitely hurting. Herschel checks on Glenn to see his legs sticking out from behind a dumpster. In the meantime, the guy that Herschel shot is crying out in pain.

Rick follows Glenn's path out into the alley to find out how badly he's hurt, while Herschel continues watching the guy rolling on the ground and crying for help.

[Oh, thank god...] It turns out that Glenn wasn't hit, but is frozen on the ground hiding behind the dumpster.

Scene 13: Rick gets Glenn moving, but they come under more gunfire when they try to make it to Herschel's car and have to retreat back to the dumpster. They spot their attacker on a building's roof across the street, but before they can decide how to get unpinned, a truck comes roaring up and shouts to the guy that they have to get gone, as walkers are swarming toward them due to all of the noise.

They tell him to jump but as he does, he rolls off a roof across another alleyway, and ends up suddenly screaming in pain. His friends, so concerned, drive off and tell him he's basically S.o.L.

Our would-be killer continues to scream in agony for help. Rick tells Glenn to grab Herschel and then rushes off TOWARDS the gunman.

In the meantime, the guy that Herschel gunned down becomes a still screaming snack for the small army of the dead now showing up on scene.

Scene 14: Herschel and Glenn run across the street to join Rick, where they find their assailant pinned through the leg on a decorative fence post. Herschel and Glenn want to leave the guy that was shooting at them to his fate, while he begs for help, but Rick won't leave him, because he turns out to be just a teenaged kid.

Herschel suggests to Rick that they should shoot the kid in head for mercy's sake and then beat feet, but Rick refuses to not try to rescue the boy. Glenn suggests they may be able to cut off the leg, and Herschel sets to get ready to use Rick's knife, warning that they'll need to find a way to cauterize the wound quickly afterward, or he'll only bleed out anyway.

Alas for whats-his-name, it becomes very clear that they'll never have enough time to operate as the walkers have spotted them already due to our screaming kid (not that you can blame him). When it's obvious that they can't free him, and Rick won't leave him or shoot him, he decides to say 'screw it' and grabs our little shooter's leg. With a sudden wrench, he yanks the leg up over the decorative fencepost, freeing him in a gush of blood and screeching.

Scene 15: Elsewhere, Lori is limping down the road toward town, when Shane finds her. In order to get her safely in the car on the way back to the farm, he lies that Rick and the others already returned.

Commentary: This scene. It was filmed a bit awkwardly. I mean, the way Shane hesitates, it should be a neon sign that he's lying ... and badly. It annoys me that it wasn't edited to remove Jon's pregnant pause before it aired, because it should've been obvious that Lori would've had to be badly concussed not to see the bullshit on his face.

Scene 16: Back at the farm, Carol has made a return to Darryl's encampment.

[Another one of my big complaints with S2 is the amount of time our people spend wandering aimlessly without any weaponry in the dark. It's so frickin' ridiculous ... especially Carl's constant jaunts, but really they're all guilty of it. They make no sense. And they do a lot of what we're seeing in this episode -- running marathons from one side of the property to the other with no sense of rhyme or reasoning. Carol must've burned off 1000 calories in this episode just walking back and forth from the house to Darryl's camp and back again.]

She finds Darryl's been busy stringing up his gutted rabbits, but more disturbingly, she also finds his necklace of walker ears.

Darryl - still hurting over Sophia, throws that awfulness in Carol's face to get her to storm away, but she doesn't.

Instead she just tells him to go ahead and get it all out, staring at him as he continues to rage at her for not slinking away from his anger and bitterness. He shouts in her face about her not keeping an eye on her kid.

Commentary: It is amazing to me that I warm up so, so much to Darryl and Carol both. The writing in future seasons is so much better with these two characters, and I just end up loving them both. But we have to get through some rough patch, like this one, first.

Scene 17: Over at the house, Shane and Lori return. Andrea rushes to Lori as she sees her rough state, and Lori tells her about the accident, but insists that she's really fine. She asks after her husband to blank stares and realizes belatedly that Shane has once again been a giant 'hole.

Shane doubles down on being a jerk by telling Lori that he "had" to bring her back to protect the baby... which comes as shocking news to everyone else - especially Carl.

Scene 18: Sometime later, Maggie has returned to the still largely catatonic Beth [in another example of the really rough editing that is going on this season... seriously, these people keep teleporting around like their magic].

Lori gets cleaned up under Dale and Andrea's watch, and has to try to explain to Carl about the baby and her silence up until now. Carl takes an immediately shine to being a big brother, but Lori continues to be conflicted.

Scene 19: Shane asks to speak to Lori alone, and though Andrea tries to run interference, seeing Lori is pissed at him, she relents.

Shane tries to pass off lying to her as a little, white lie, but she tosses at him how he's made a habit of lying. She brings up his telling her that Rick had died in the hospital, and then about whatever really happened when Otis died. Clearly, she's starting to believe Dale's suspicions. She points out to Shane that he hasn't been the same since he came back that night.

He doesn't straight up lie this time, but he doesn't tell her anything either, except that what happened to Otis is because he loves her and Carl. She rolls her eyes, and informs him that she already told Rick about their liason when she thought he was dead and they didn't split up. He can't quite believe it.

[Lori, alas, doesn't follow this up with suggesting that he and Rick bang and thereby alleviate any further competition/hurt feelings over the whole thing.]

Shane asks if she told Rick it was a mistake, and when she confirms, he has a momentary near-breakdown before telling her that it wasn't true and what they had/have was/is real. Shane insists that their little family unit was real and right, despite her continuing to tell him that it wasn't anything except her despair and needing comfort. He's not at all happy that she doesn't recogize their "love".

When she won't admit that she and he were in love, he stomps out of the room leaving Lori near tears.

Commentary: Ugh. God, Shane is the worst. Why do I keep wanting him to come back from his clear march down the darkside? He and Rick could be such an unstoppable team between Rick's compassion and Shane's brutal pragmatism but Shane just won't get over this thing with Lori, and he just can't be trusted. I don't trust him, and I want him to stick around to protect the group, how could the others?!

Scene 20: The following morning, Andrea checks in on Beth, despite Maggie telling her to stay out away from her. Maggie doesn't give her the time of day, but Patricia tells her that Beth is dehydrated.

Andrea asks if she can get anything for Maggie, but all she wants is her dad to get home. They manage a civil conversation.

Maggie tells Andrea a funny story of Beth being so upset about finding out Maggie had been using birth control pills that she'd chucked them into the pond, and then had a freak out. Their mother had laughed at them both, and when Herschel had come out to see what all of the commotion was about, Beth had batted her eyes at him and innocently told him they'd just been swimming is all.

She tells Maggie that Glenn and Rick are going to get her dad back to them. Maggie nods and says that Glenn is a good guy, and Andrea smilingly tells her that he is.

Scene 21: Outside, Darryl and Shane are packing up the car to go after their missing. Andrea is grabbing her gear to go, too. Which worries Dale as he once again tells her that she can't trust Shane, and leads to her telling him that he's had her back before.

[Dale. Busy body... I really like the actor, but this character is just irritating.]

Dale tells Andrea that Shane doesn't want Rick or Herschel back since with them gone, he's the big man.

Andrea tells Dale that Shane has done more to keep the group alive than anyone, Rick included. He's appalled. She's smug. [They deserve each other.]

Scene 22: Before they can roll out though, the SUV comes trundling down the dirt road to the farm.

Everyone rushes over to check that they're all accounted for, and to meet their "guest". Hugs, hugs, hugs, except Glenn pulls away from Maggie, obviously upset to her confusion. Herschel calls to Patricia to ready for surgery.

Our gun-kid is Randall-with-the-fucked-up-leg.

Naturally Shane IMMEDIATELY shoots a glare at Rick for bringing a stranger back with them. [Naturally in all the hugging, Rick and Shane didn't partake with one another --- dammit.]

Scene 23: Sometime later, Rick explains that they couldn't leave him behind to bleed out. Apparently they didn't both to discuss this at length while the surgery was going on, because now Herschel interrupts to state that Randall's calf muscle was repaired to the best of his ability, but he'll have a limp for quite a while and might never fully heal.

Rick suggests that they can let him rest up, and then send him on his way. Since they kept him blindfolded, he won't be a threat to the rest of them. But Shane... -SIGH, GRUMBLE-GRUMBLE- ... IMMEDIATELY starts an argument that the group he was with is probably even now hunting for them to find Randall. Rick insists that they left him for dead and nobody is looking for the kid.

T-Dog wisely suggests that they should still post a guard [well, wisely now -- why they aren't already posting guard shifts at night to watch against wandering looters and walkers is... uh, because they're all deeply stupid; Jeezus, they could use a Winchester or a Slayer to take charge here].

Shane snots. Herschel brings up their not having dealt with what happened at the barn yet, and tells Shane to be perfectly clear that this is HIS farm, and tells Shane he wanted him out, but Rick talked him out of it. But he's still not happy having him there, still, and he should do himself a favor and keep his mouth shut.

[And I Cheer Herschel. And then ask him to also tell Dale to shut up. But he's too focused on hating Shane, and so ignores me.]

Everyone breaks up the meeting with Shane storming out of the house in frustration, Andrea going off after him, and Maggie noticing that Glenn is too quiet and withdrawn.

Scene 24: Maggie follows Glenn, and tells him they should talk. She asks him what is going on with him, and Glenn tells her about his freezing up when the crap hit the fan. She's understanding that he was being shot at, but obvs, that isn't a good excuse from his point of view.

He tells Maggie that because she told him that she loves him, when a bullet hit the wall near his head, he hid. She thinks this is romantic, and goes to embrace him, but he wards her off. He tells her that Rick and her dad was counting on him, and he only thought of himself.

He walks away, feeling full of guilt and remorse.

Scene 25: Later upstairs, Beth is again looked in on this time by her father. Maggie joins them.

Maggie shouts at her dad for drinking again, and for leaving her there with a sister who needed something without knowing what she was supposed to do.

Scene 26: Outside, Andrea catches up with Shane. She makes it clear she agrees with Shane, but she's frustrated that instead of rationality in his arguments, he stomps around like a bull in a china shop. She brings up all of his choices lately, and tells him they were the right calls, but his presentation really blows.

She tells him that she keeps seeing him pushing everyone away. He responds that he'll always be the odd man out, just like she is, but Andrea insists that she's made her peace with not alwaying being in step with the rest of the group. Shane tells Andrea that this kid they brought back is going to lead them into a war, and the two of them are the only ones who can see it coming, while Rick and Herschel are going to end up getting them all killed with their decisions.

Scene 27: In their tent, Lori and Rick chuckle over their mutual aches, pains and bruises. Lori takes a breath and then tells Rick that they need to talk about Shane. She reports that Shane thinks the baby is his, and he won't listen to her when she's trying to convince him that he needs to forget that it could ever be his, no matter what.

She mutters that Shane is delusional and dangerous. She tells Rick that he's already threatened Herschel and Dale and he's scaring people, including her. She mutters that she also thinks that he deliberately killed Otis.

She admits to Rick that she thinks he did it not to only save Carl, but because he thinks he loves her. Rick tries to point out that she doesn't know what happened with Otis, but she barrels on to tell Rick that Shane thinks he and she are supposed to be together. Rick points out that he killed two people today [a bit of a blooper -- he should've said 'last night'] for her and Carl, putting himself in the same place as Shane.

But Lori tells him that he killed the living to protect what's his. Right now, Shane believes that she is his, and that the baby is his. And that Rick can't protect them and is going to get them killed. Lori whispers in Rick's ear that Shane is dangerous and he won't stop....

Commentary: And for some reason, Lori here gets an enormous amount of hatred, as if she's somehow scheming against Shane. I don't get it. It's not that she's sowing seeds of distrust against Shane and Rick's friendship.. That ship is already breaking up on the shoals. And she DOES have every reason to be afraid now, with the latest conversation with Shane, and the way he reacted when she's trying so hard to put the past behind them for her marriage.

Maybe it's the image of the woman whispering poison in the hero's ear. But I'd say that Shane is actually poison, and Rick has been oblivious to just how deranged Shane has been acting, trying to see the person he knew. But Shane isn't the man in the patrol car, anymore. Lori is completely right, as far as I can tell. And Rick does need a warning that he wants what Rick has and has made it clear to her that he isn't going to just let her go.

I don't know... I'm on Lori's side here -- despite some of her confusing behavior earlier in the season when it comes to Shane and her.

I think Lori's real problem is that she'd been so inconsistently written, leaving Sarah floundering with trying to make sense of what this woman thinks at any particular moment and trying to build a character, rather than a cypher out of the contradictions. I blame the scripting, rather than the character.

The Good: I liked the entire sequence of Lori's escape from her car wreck and having to fight off two walkers.

And I really liked the acting especially of Steven Yuen in this episode. And though he was unpleasant, I liked Norman's work as Darryl, too, in this one.

Herschel telling Shane to keep his mouth shut was very nice... and I totally agree.

The Bad: Frickin' tv-budget, CGI objects... ugh. It's even worse than the CGI-fire in S1's last episode.

I wasn't going to put it in the bad, but I think it just qualifies for it: The whole thing with Randall's leg injury is really off. His leg should be completely torn open and a hankerchief was not going to stop that bleeding. No way. He should be literally crippled, probably for life in that leg. If he'd even be able to make it back to the farm at all without bleeding to death -- something that Herschel made clear would happen... and yet....

Other Thoughts: Again, there is a lot of dialog in this episode. Some of it was good character work, but some of it was just burning run time that could've been better used elsewhere. There was also some slight issues with dragging a scene out a bit to add run time.

I do really wish that they'd do something with the editing and the scene progressions. It needs to be tightened up and looked over with a more discerning eye. The number of times that the same character teleports from one scene directly to another in a totally different place is maddening. And it plays havoc with just how much time is passing between two scenes that should be happening at the same time, or within moments of each other.

Dales annoys me.

Shane frickin' annoys me.

T-Dog needs to have a goddamned story arc! The writers are annoying me.

The Score: This episode started off really well, but as it went on, the pacing started to feel more and more off again. And I'm kinda getting wore out on the Shane/Lori/Rick arguing. The writers really need to decide on an outcome, and get to it.

3.25 out of 5 stars

Tags: walking dead season 2 review

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