THE WALKING DEAD S02.07 – “Pretty Much Dead Already”

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Opinion, Recaps, Reviews, TV, Uncategorized
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Originally Posted At SciFi4Me.com! Check It Out!

Timothy: Welcome back to the mid-season finale review of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, where once again Dustin Adair and I will tell you what we thought of the adventures of Team Zombie and the Green Family Barn Players, with Pithy Punctuations by one Curtis Smith.

Of course you’re reading this later than we planned, but life got in the way this week. Between film shoots and a cold, there were delays aplenty, and for that, we beg your forgiveness. So! Onward! Beware the Spoilers!

Dustin: No Sexual situations this time.

Don’t sound so disappointed.

We see the Barn of the Dead, then Team Zombie peacefully making breakfast.

Ah, sweet semi-domestic bliss… surely this can’t last.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Light the barn on fire already! #thewalkingdead

Shane flexes his jaw muscles, while Lori kisses Rick, who looks downtrodden as usual.  

Glenn…. Looks wistfully at the Green Farmhouse, where Maggie is standing on the porch watching him. Then he looks at the rest of Team Zombie. Dale catches his eye and gives the okay. So Glenn stands up and makes the big announcement:

Hey guys? You know that barn that we’ve all been told to stay away from for no good reason, the one that not one single paranoid crazy member of Team Zombie has thought to poke their nose into for reasons that seem suspiciously like the writers just didn’t want us to? That one? Well, um…

Hush you. Glenn is all “There are walkers in the barn!!” And everyone reacts about how you’d expect.

Dramatic stares?

With a field trip to the barn. Naturally. Shane sticks his fat eye right in a crack in the side of the barn and the walkers get an eyeful.

Shane wants to get the hell out of dodge. And Carol reminds us all that we are supposed to be caring about Poor Little Lost Sophia.

Shane finally voices to the group, in his oh so tactful way, that he thinks Sophia’s dead, and we get to hear that unlike the writers and your reviewers here, he’s not a fan of Daryl’s. One more strike against him…

There is a lot of crazy yelling as everyone tries to get a word in edgewise. Even Theodore has a line. It’s so crazy, Dale is the voice of reason. It’s sick really.

Nice to see another good moment for Dale. It won’t last of course, but it’s nice.

Well, the yelling certainly riles up the zombies. What did you expect, Team Zombie?

Later, Shane walks around the barn. I guess the yelling is over and everyone decided to go back to breakfast instead of storming the farmhouse and demanding an explanation. Shane checks the chains and locks to make sure they are secure. The walkers push on the doors, but they hold.

OK, there’s this moment where he jerks back and reaches for his gun, which isn’t there, and I just had to roll my eyes, because really? Does anybody think that Shane, of all people, didn’t keep a spare? I mean we’ve got Carl packing, and Shane, Shane, crazy ass Shane, doesn’t have a gun he stashed? Come on.

And yeah, what the hell is up with no one going to demand explanations here? I mean it’s going to be AGES until we’re going to get a Rick/Hershel confrontation about this (OK, it’ll be like 5 minutes, but still…), everyone wanders off to their own little storylines and no one goes up to the house to ask, um hey… why are you keeping a bunch of freaking zombies in the barn?!?!  God. The writing this season is killing me.

Back at the homestead, Maggie avoids Glenn as best she can, but he tries to make her see reason. She asks for his hat and she puts an egg in it and smashes it into his head. Har har. COMEDY.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I love that in the middle of all this death, a dude can still have girl trouble. #thewalkingdead

Carl is doing his schooling. He asks Lori if we really think Sophia is dead. Yes. Yes we do. Lori is a little more diplomatic than I would have been, and Carl says he doesn’t want to leave the Green Farm. Lori says they are not leaving. Way to make a promise you don’t know if you can keep, Mom! Carl thinks Sophia will like the farm. Lori’s eyes bug out as they hug.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
You’ll never know a home, boy. #thewalkingdead

In the horse stable, Daryl tries to carry a saddle, but he’s all gimpy from his bad hurtin’ a couple of episodes ago.

It’s a shame he doesn’t have Carl’s miraculous recovery powers. How is it that kid is up and walking around again?

Carol actually has some lines tonight and tells him to take it easy, she can’t bear to lose him too. Daryl looks at her in shock. For a moment, I really thought he was going to say something sweet to build on what is becoming the cutest Damaged People Love Story ever, but instead, he throws the saddle and calls her a bitch. He stalks out of the stables. Daryl and Carol fo’eva, you guys.  

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Daryl, you’re a charmer. #thewalkingdead

Dale goes into the RV and talks to Andrea about Shane and how he’s a bad choice. He tells her that he doesn’t want her to be a victim and that she doesn’t know Shane. Then Andrea turns the conversation to Dale’s stalker tendencies. Andrea says she is feeling much better, it might be the gun. It might be the sex she got last week. The world will never know.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Dad doesn’t approve of shane. Or his p***s. #thewalkingdead

I have to take a moment here and address the Dale and Andrea situation. I am not an Adaptation Purist. I recognize that a film or television show based on a source material is allowed to take liberties with the source material to allow it to stand on its own two feet and tell its own stories. In fact, I’m usually the guy that defends new interpretations in film and television to my friends, but I am just not feeling the relationship between Dale and Andrea here. In the comics, they are an against all odds May/December romance, and in the grand scheme of the story, are one of the most powerful and important pairings. In the TV show, Dale is much more a stalker, bullying and badgering Andrea. I know they are trying to show that he has soft and mushy feelings for her, but it comes off SO STALKERISH and weird, that I would feel gross if the two of them ended up together now. I’m not sure if there is any way for them to pull this up and make Dale seem like less of a creep when it comes to Andrea, but you really hope they can.

Yeah, and as someone who hasn’t read the comic, but knows the broad strokes, it’s bad enough that the high point of this scene for me is when Dale says he’s through with trying to talk her out of anything, because you want to believe he is. But the way he’s being written, you just can’t believe he will let it go. I hope so, because it’s very creepy.

Anyway, after the conversation with Andrea, Dale heads out of the RV and asks Glenn to go get him some water. He is all atwitter with emotions.

Meanwhile at the table, Hershel is reading the Bible and having a nice lunch. Rick enters and offers to help share some of the load on the farm. Hershel is not having it. They are basically terrible at each other this entire scene. Hershel tells Rick that Team Zombie has to leave. Rick says he knows that Hershel thinks that Walkers are people and he can learn to respect that. Rick tries to convince him that he should let Team Zombie stay, but Hershel is not going to budge. Rick calls the farm special, he tries to convince him that it’s a dark, dark world out there. Rick begs not to be turned out.  He tells Hershel about Lori’s baby bump. Rick tells him they can survive together. Hershel is a stubborn old fool. And kicks Rick out of the house. As he leaves, it is revealed that Maggie has heard the whole conversation. She is all sad.

Finally! Hershel raises his voice! God, that even monotone voice was getting on my nerves…

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I hate Hershel. #thewalkingdead

At the barn, Shane is standing watch. Rick arrives to rile him up. It works. Rick tells him that he and Hershel are negotiating so that Team Zombie can stay at the farm. Shane is still a proponent of getting packing up and leaving. Rick tries to tell him the barn is secure. But Shane insists that its dangerous. About this, I tend to agree with Shane. Shane wants to go. They argue about the guns. Rick tells him they can make the farm safe without guns. Shane is not having it until Rick tells him about the baby and how they need to stay so Lori can give birth in a safe environment. Then he walks away. Shane congratulates him on the baby but his eyes get all buggy. I wonder if whatever Lori has is catching?

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I hope shane goes ballistic and takes care of the Hershel problem. #thewalkingdead

And this leads me back to the whole gun thing. Folks, this is a world full of zombies. This is a world full of the undead roaming about, feasting on the living. And this is not some ultra-fortified compound; it’s a bleeding farm. Have you seen the fences? Why on earth has Team Zombie gone along with this no guns rule this long? It’s so because-the-writers-say-so, and it makes no damn sense. And Rick’s argument is so unrealistic, so writer-ly, I mean come on.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Maybe perky will convince him. #thewalkingdead

Back at the farmhouse, Maggie and Hershel talk about letting Team Zombie stay. Hershel thinks Rick is being dramatic. Maggie calls the dead ‘Walkers’ and Hershel notices. Hershel is not being very Christian so Maggie drops a Bible smackdown on him. Maggie monologues about her teenage rebellion; Hershel is such a moron. They talk about being different. Hershel calls Glenn ‘the Asian boy’ again so Maggie tells him about the walker attack at the pharmacy. She begs for the Team Zombie to be allowed to stay.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
You and Asian boy. #thewalkingdead

I know you and I have talked about this a little outside of the reviews about my wondering why exactly Hershel is so hell-bent on sending Team Zombie on its way, because there’s never actually been a reason given for it. But here, all that kindly old man is just gone, and we’re left with, let’s face it, a racist religious hypocrite. Can we just have him get zombified soon? Please?

Cannon Fodder arrives just in time for Hershel to not be able to respond to her, and says ‘it’ has happened again.  

Rick is looking at the map on the hood of the Jeep again, trying to coordinate the Sophia search with Andrea when Hershel arrives. Hershel asks Rick to help  him with something, so Andrea heads to the barn to keep watch and Rick goes with Hershel.

OK, again we have people acting so weird in this show… Rick has this big blow-out with Hershel and then just walks over to pretend, yes pretend, because it’s clear that aside from Daryl, no one is actually looking for Sophia anymore, to coordinate the fake search? Beats… head… against… floor…

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Why is she chopping carrots in the middle of a field? #thewalkingdead

Meanwhile Lori is cutting up veggies… in a field? Sometimes it’s funny to see the lengths this show will go to get two of its characters alone for a private conversation. I smell a new drinking game!! Shane arrives to give her grief about the baby. Shane talks all crazy about how Rick wasn’t build for Zombieland. Shane says he saved her life a million times and Rick is not able to do crap. Shane is having a crazy attack. Lori says the baby is Ricks. She says even if the baby is Shane’s, it’s Rick’s. Shane stomps off in a huff.  

As Shane walks off all crazy and wounded, he passes Carl who asks him to help them stay at the farm until they find Sophia.

Yeesh. Anybody else get all weirded out when Shane tries to be fatherly to Carl? Not because he’s creepy to Carl, but because he’s not?

Shane is scary like I have never been scared before.

More angry walking takes Shane the to the RV where he finds all the guns are hidden I wonder what Shane was going to do with all the guns?

Shane asks Glenn where Dale went. Glenn says he didn’t see and Shane is all angry and crazy and goes off to look for Dale and the guns.  

Hershel, Rick, and Cannon go out to the bog to find a couple of walkers. Wait, there’s a bog now? Where did that come from?  

The same place the fork in the river no one noticed before came from… the “let’s drag this subplot out forever” closet. Sigh.

Hershel asks how many walkers Rick has killed and if he can stop killing. Hershel says if they are staying, they have to treat the walkers like humans.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I hope Hershel feels the same way about rape goblins #thewalkingdead

Daryl and Carol go for a walk. He shows her another Cherokee Rose and says they’ll find Sophia.  Things are looking up for Damaged People Romance. They share a sweet moment. Carol asks why he wants to find Sophia so bad and Daryl says he thinks she’s still out the… and also he’s a little bored. Carol pulls a petal off the rose and they look out at the lake pond.

Ah, not-so-young love…

Meanwhile, Rick, Cannon and Hershel are trying to get the walkers out of the marsh. They struggle a little, but it finally happens.  

Glenn is on watch when Maggie arrives. He goes over to talk to her. Maggie is such a moron. Glenn tells her how stupid she has been. Glenn tells her walkers are dangerous and he doesn’t want her in danger and secrets get you killed. Maggie gets all giggly and lovey-dovey.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Perky’s gonna do him again. #thewalkingdead

Dale is out in the woods hiding the guns. Shane finds him and they have it out  about the guns. Dale full on tells him he thinks he shot Otis. Shane tells Dale he’s dead. Shane asks for the guns. Dale refuses to give them. Shane advances. Dale doesn’t shoot him. I am so over both of them right now.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Dale. Really? In first season, you’d have shot him in the hand. Because things actually happened. #thewalkingdead

Dale tells Shane that he belongs in a hell world full of zombies. Dale tries to be all high and mighty, but he forgets how terrible he becomes whenever Andrea is within 100 feet of him.

OK, yeah, Dale has the whole Andrea issue, but c’mon, he’s right about Shane. He’s right about Otis, he’s right that Shane will be bad for Andrea, well, eventually, and he’s right that Shane does belong in a world of death. If only he wasn’t such a damn meddler.

Back at the farm, Maggie is going to wash Glenn’s cap.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Seriously. The benefit of a 6 episode season is having to get into it quicker. #thewalkingdead

Team Zombie arrives at the farmhouse to head out to help look for Sophia. Everyone wonders aloud where Rick and Shane have gotten off to. Shane arrives with the guns looking like a total nut and calls on Team Zombie to take up arms against… it’s not made very clear. Shane is just all full of crazy. It seems like Team Zombie is going to try and talk him down from whatever psychosis he is currently smoking when Rick stumbles out of the woods with a walker on a stick. Suddenly Shane’s crazy is contagious.

Well, in all fairness to the crazies in our party, Rick has a freaking walker-on-a-stick! Talk about the worst possible time to come back to the farm.

Talk about a predictable moment.

There is a ton of yelling and screaming and Shane finally ends up shooting the walker in the chest a couple of times, to prove that she is no longer alive. Then he shoots her in the head  and runs over to the barn and breaks all the locks and chains off the doors.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Well this changes things, doesn’t it? #thewalkingdead

As the walkers pour out of the barn, Team Zombie has no choice but to blow their undead brains out. The only people that don’t join in the fight are Hershel, who has fallen to his knees in defeat, Rick, who is still contending with a walker on a stick, Lori and Carl who are huddled together for no protection at all, and Carol, who is queen of the useless.

I really don’t know what the point of all that was. Cannon didn’t even die.

Dale arrives right at the end of the shoot out to stand there and look dumbfounded.

I kept expecting a big moment where we would see Hershel’s zombied wife or some reaction to specific walkers by Maggie, but horrified and defeated will do I suppose. Oh wait, it seems like there’s still a zombie left in the barn… Maggie’s mom? Ah. No. Oops.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Called it!!! #thewalkingdead

Yeah Oops. Looks like we found Sophia. The little moppet has been a barn walker this whole time. This is a classic example of the writers not following the “Show and Tell” rule. In a throwaway line in the middle of the episode, Hershel states that Otis (whom Shane killed) used to be the one that wrangled the walkers. So you must assume that Zombie Sophia was wrangled and put in the barn by Otis before Shane killed him. Also one must assume that Otis did not tell Hershel about every walker he wrangled, so it is completely possible that none of the other people on the Green Farm knew Sophia was in the barn, and that if Shane had not killed Otis, they would have found out she was dead way sooner. But it’s sloppy storytelling all the same.

See, I’m seeing it as even worse than that. I think Hershel knew she was in the barn, and he’s just gone from delusional unpleasant hypocrite to full-on Bastard. Really I don’t see how he couldn’t know… the Green Family Barn Players have been feeding the zombies and thinking they are still their loved ones, so how could they miss the addition of a new shorter zombie? If I’m right there’s going to be hell to pay when we come back in the second half of the season.

Everyone is all sad, and Rick finally gets off his ass and puts her down.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
YES!!!!! #thewalkingdead

Which he really had to do, or else he would have lost all of what’s left of his authority with Team Zombie, and it might as well be the Adventures of Crazy Shane and The Let’s Kill Everything Brigade. And since it’s been the repeated (over and over and over and over) reason he’s given for staying, well, before the whole pregnancy thing, and his own repeated (over and over and over) guilt driving that decision, there’s just no way that anyone else could be the one to pull the trigger.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Can’t believe nobody thought to check the barn. Hershel, you’re a bastard. Good job #thewalkingdead

Somehow I suspect the social dynamic of the Green Farm is going to change a bit when we come back.

Let me take a moment to comment about the whole Sophia thing. Obviously Dustin, Curtis and I have not been fans of the non-searching, drag this out for a ridiculous long time way this has been handled. Last week, after the show, Dustin and I and our friend Mike pondered the fate of our missing girl, and we came up with a few other options, including Rambo Sophia, you know, the little girl who becomes the bad-ass zombie killer? Yeah. But for weeks now we’ve been pretty sure she’s dead, because nobody gets that lost. But I have to say, the payoff wasn’t bad. Doesn’t make up for the ridiculous way we got here, but not bad.

Ah well. So! That’s the mid-season finale folks! You know what we think of how this season’s been going, but what did you think? Loving it? Hating it? Vague indifference? Rampant frustration? Unrestrained glee? Oh please, tell me someone is experiencing unrestrained glee over this season’s events…

And what happens next? Will Rick stop being all wishy-washy? Will Shane finally snap? Will Daryl find true love?  Will Team Zombie and the Green Family Barn Players learn to live together in peace and harmony? Will Lori’s eyes finally pop out of her head? Will the writers stop padding the episodes? We’ll be back in February for those answers and more!

[Official Show Site at AMC]

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