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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]


Originally Posted On SciFi4Me.com… Check It Out!

Timothy: Welcome back, to this 5th installment of Dustin Adair and my reviews of the second season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, where we are joined again by Mr. Curtis Smith! Curtis was live-Tweeting during the broadcast, and as before, you’ll see what he had to say mixed in with Dustin and my thoughts. So… where are we?

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
This week they will hopefully find the girl. And rape goblins. #Walking Dead @SciFi4Me

Dustin: Well, back in the past before anyone knew each other… Carol’s husband was still a douche. Carol’s family and Lori, Shane and Carl were all stuck together in traffic on the road into Atlanta. When Carl got hungry, Abusive Dad and Husband of the Year wouldn’t let Carol give Carl a MRE and was pretty pissed at Carol for even mentioning that they had any. 

Charming fellow. Hope something nasty happens to him. Lori and Shane slip off to have some your-husband-is-dead sex; wait, no, they’re trying to find out more about the traffic jam and what’s going on, when a fight breaks out among the people in the crowd. An army helicopter flies overhead and they follow it away from the road to see the military napalming the city.

Looks like Atlanta’s not that safe. Lori and Shane find comfort in each other’s arms.

Good thing her husband is dead. Oh wait. Back in the present, Lori sleeps in, her back hurts. Could she be… pregnant?

She puts on shoes and heads out of her tent to talk to Carol who is doing much better with the whole “Her Daughter Might Be Dead” thing. Carol asks Lori to ask the Greens if they can cook a thank you meal in their kitchen. See as the leader’s wife, Lori is like the unofficial First lady of Team Zombie. Lori agrees to ask permission to use the Green Farm’s food, water, and facilities to cook dinner. 

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Who the heck is the new guy? #Walking Dead @SciFi4Me

Meanwhile, Rick is trying to facilitate the search for Sophia and there is this other random guy who wants to help… I’m gonna call him Cannon Fodder since he is not properly introduced or named. Rick asks Cannon Fodder if he has permission from Hershel to go on the search and Cannon says yes.

That’s a perfect name for him, because it’s never a good sign if you show up in a show and at no point does anyone ask your name. Clearly this mysterious youth is not long for this world. And it’s great to see that FINALLY this rather large group of people is going to go look for the child who has been lost in the zombie infested woods for days.

Daryl says he’s gonna go ask Hershel if he can borrow a horse. Everyone is going to look for Sophia.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Throw that poor boy a bone. So to speak. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Except Glenn, who is having a Honky Tonk moment on the porch. Maggie finds him and they spew awkward cuteness all over each other. Glenn wants to bone again, Maggie is not so sure.

“11 Minutes I won’t get back.” Ouch. But c’mon, she thinks Glenn is cute.

Shane and Rick are out in the woods together. Rick wants to reminisce about the girls Shane used to bang just so they could have a conversation again. They are so dumb. Shane was some sort of awesome stud in high school. He had sex with a PE teacher. Or is lying. Or is horrifying and stupid. Rick was not much of a stud back in High school. Why do we need to know this? Curtis thinks it’s a lull before a big scare. He doesn’t know this show very well, does he?

Oh, god, do we really need another set of stories about Rick and Shane’s teenage years? And whom Shane had sex with, or likely didn’t in high school — seems sooooo appropriate to discuss while searching for a missing girl. Is there a point to this?

Shane plays ‘Everyone we know is dead’ and gets all depressed. Shane thinks Sophia is dead. I think Sophia is dead. I think the only person who thinks Sophia is still alive is Rick and even he isn’t so sure. I HATE YOU, RICK! I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!!
I really don’t know if I am going to remember anything about this episode tomorrow.

I’m thinking Dustin may not like Rick. I’m not sure why I have that impression… The point here is that Shane thinks Rick’s emotional responses to things are not helping and that he needs to be more rational and pragmatic. It’s been days since Sophia disappeared, so stop wasting time on a pointless search. Of course Rick can’t let go of the fact that Sophia trusted him, and then there’s the fact that the last pragmatic decision Shane made ended with Otis as zombie chum, so I’m not sure he’s the best person to listen to on the subject.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Hey. That guy was in Boondock Saints. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me #TheObvious

Down by the river, Daryl finds Sophia’s doll. She at least made it to the river. Which I guess is good, because he doesn’t find a body. Daryl climbs back on his horse and it gets spooked by birds ((foreshadowing)). Then a snake moves and Daryl’s horse bucks him and he falls off the horse and then off a cliff and into the water where he is impaled on one of his own arrows.

OMG! STUFF IS HAPPENING THIS EPISODE TOO!!

Ow. Just ow.

Daryl is all stabbed and junk, ’tis a flesh wound, but it’s pretty bad. He rips his sleeves off (I was kind of surprised he was wearing a shirt with sleeves, honestly) and makes a tourniquet.
Then there is a noise and he has to go search for his crossbow.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Just when you think it’s coming…still no rape goblins. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Suddenly the chupacabra attacks! Wait, no it doesn’t, although earlier Daryl claimed to have seen one and, oddly enough, the existence of such a thing will factor in later. Really. Slowly and painfully, he begins to climb back up the hill.

HE IS THE COOLEST CHARACTER EVER. And he’s heading towards being a major Mary Sue.
Don’t know what a Mary Sue is? Well, now you do.     [Editor’s Note: see also TV Tropes]

Lori and Glenn talk about how she is pregnant and she hasn’t told anyone but him. Welcome to the B plot, Glenn. Just then, Rick arrives and he and Lori talk about Shane and his feelings, and how they should have given up the search for Sophia a million years ago. Rick asks Lori if they should give up the search and Lori says she can’t answer that question for him. No one in this show can make a decision to save their lives. Lori – –
THERE IS ANOTHER GREEN DAUGHTER!! I am so excited to see her! I can’t even tell you!! And I can’t even remember what I was about to type before I saw her. Horrible things are in store for that kid. Horrible, awesome things.  

Where the hell are all these new kids coming from? We’ve been at the farm for what, three episodes now? And we haven’t seen these two before now?

Meanwhile, back in Mary Sue Land, Daryl makes it to the top of the cliff only to fall down again.
Back at the farm, Hershel tells Rick that Daryl stole his horse and Cannon Fodder never asked for permission to go out on the search for Sophia. Hershel suggests that team Zombie and the Green Farmers keep themselves to themselves. Hershel is pretty much decided that Team Zombie is not long for the farm.  Rick walks away all disgusted like he’s so great at doing.

I swear, it basically comes down to Hershel saying “Stop touching my stuff!” He’s something of a control freak… I wonder why. ((foreshadowing))

Daryl has a vision of Merle and Merle is just the motivation Mary Sue… er… Daryl needs to do something Mary Sue-ish.  Merle makes Daryl all confused and is a total jerk. He makes mean words at Daryl. I just hate this whole thing. I don’t want Daryl to be perfect, but I don’t want him to go back to being an ass either. Merle tells him no one will ever care about Daryl the way Merle does.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I have sooooo missed that dude. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

But that’s okay because it’s really a zombie who luckily started with Daryl’s boots.
Daryl Mary Sues the zombies. (Bashes one’s head in with a stick then PULLS THE CROSSBOW BOLT OUT OF HIS ABDOMEN AND SHOOTS ANOTHER ZOMBIE WITH IT.)

Oh Daryl.

Daryl re-binds his wounds and says, rather ominously, that his brother was right. He then has a squirrel snack and picks up Sophia’s doll, tucks it in his belt and cuts off the ears of the zombies, just like Merle used to do. This, this is not a good sign folks.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
More Merle! More Merle! #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Then he climbs the cliff and finds Merle at the top to egg him on. I do not want this to happen. Merle and Daryl argue about what an asshole brother Merle is… or used to be… or something. Merle goads and Daryl into climbing the cliff.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Did I miss something? Chuba Cabra? #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

And we have another Chupacabra reference! Merle doesn’t think that Daryl really saw one, and with all the taunting this hallucination has been doing about Daryl’s place in the group, there are clearly some doubts here. Considering how much he’s become the best character in the show lately, I’m somewhat afraid that the writers are going to screw him over…

Please Daryl, you are so well-rounded right now, stop being awesome right at this point. Please.

Hershel finds Lori and Carol and some other unnamed women in the kitchen and is not happy. Maggie tells him it’s just dinner and Hershel asks about Glenn in the most racist way possible. Maggie cops an attitude, saying they are not having this conversation, because she is twenty-two years old, and damn it, her father needs to stop being a full on ass. Hershel tells her not to get used to Team Zombie because they are just passing through.  

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Hershel is awful. What an awful man. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Andrea is suddenly in possession of a sniper rifle. Who gave this to her and why? Dale isn’t thrilled and he’s right not to be. Heading inside the RV, he finds Glenn returning a book he borrowed. Glenn asks Dale if he thinks all the women are having their periods together because he read that can happen and they are all acting weird, and Dale does the only sensible thing when confronted with such a stupid question and tells Glenn to shut up. Of course what Glenn is really talking about is being confused about Maggie, and he tells Dale what happened. Dale, having noticed that Hershel isn’t keen on letting other people play with his stuff, asks what the hell Glenn was thinking. Glenn, quite rightly I think, answers “I was thinking I could die tomorrow.”

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I remember the age before I finished my training when I wondered what women were thinking. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Daryl staggers out of the tree line, but everyone thinks he’s a zombie. This can’t end well, because Andrea has a shiny new toy, I mean high-powered rifle, and yeah, this is not good.

Andrea wants to shoot the “zombie”, but Rick says not to. So of course she shoots just as everyone who went out to kill the walker with shovels is getting to Daryl and realizing that he is not, in fact, a walker.
Andrea, you are terrible.
You know what, and we still don’t have Sophia. I think I’m back to hating this show.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
How does Daryl not become a zombie? They just pulled a zombie ear out of his mouth. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Luckily, Andrea can’t shoot for crap, and Daryl is just grazed. But the shot brings everyone running and boy is Hershel pissed….

Hershel is all snippy about just everything but he totally wins line of the week with: “It’s a wonder you people have survived this long.” True dat, Hershel.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Shut up Hershel. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Rick and Shane have it out about tough choices again, ending with Rick walking off in a huff.  
Lori tries to explain to Shane that Rick is trying to be strong, and that in a world where survival is not guaranteed, making the human choice is harder than making a choice for survival, but Shane says he just wants to protect her and Carl. Lori basically tells him that it’s not his job to be king dick anymore and he needs to stop being an ass.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I wonder when somebody’s gonna realize, “Hey, Hershel’s got no guns.” #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Andrea regrets being an idiot, while Dale tries to maker her feel better for being an idiot. Dustin hates them both. Meanwhile Lori cries in Carl’s room.

Suddenly the Incredibly Awkward Dinner happens! Glenn tries to break the ice with the power of music, and an even more awkward Otis story almost ensues.

I seriously expected Daryl to say he knew how to play.
Maggie passes Glenn a booty note. They have 11 condoms left, you guys.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Now that dad doesn’t like Glen, Maggie’s horned up again. Typical. #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

Carol brings Daryl dinner and kisses him on the face. She says he did more for Sophia than her actual dad ever did she tells him he’s every bit as good as Rick or any of the others. Honestly, at this point, Daryl is better than all of those jerks.  

When Maggie slips away to read the note, she sees that it says “Have you ever done it in a hay loft” or something like that and this is not good because…

THE HAY LOFT!! YOU GUYS IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL!!!

What he said. This is bad, bad, bad, because Hershel told Rick the barn is off-limits, and since Rick just said OK without asking why, no one else did either, which seems really odd now that I think about it… but could it be there’s a reason Hershel doesn’t want Team Zombie to poke around in there?

There is, because Glenn discovers the barn is locked, but that’s not enough to keep him away from booty so he climbs the ladder to the hay loft as Maggie runs to the barn to stop him. Down in the barn, Glenn discovers ALL THE GREEN FARM’S DEAD NEIGHBORS!! He gets them good and riled up!

Maggie arrives in the hay loft just as Glenn is retreating, and tells him that he was never meant to see the dead in the barn.

Uh gee Maggie, that’s something of an understatement don’t you think?

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Hershel is the zombie whisperer? #WalkingDead @SciFi4Me

And there you have this week’s episode. I think we’ve learned another important lesson here, and that is that protected sex leads to zombies. Wait, that can’t be right… Anyway, join us next week where we’ll see what pointless conversations can break up the tension of Team Zombie discovering that their new neighbors are coming over for dinner. Later!
[Official Show Site at AMC]

THE WALKING DEAD
Episode 2.04 “Cherokee Rose”

[All photos: AMC]

Dustin: Okay, I know you’re used to Mr. Harvey doing the intro, but I’m watching “The Walking Dead” alone tonight as he is off being an Award Winning Filmmaker. Don’t worry, you’ll still get plenty of his sass after he watches the episode. Let’s get started, shall we?

Timothy: Well, actually, it was just a read-through. The award-winning filmmaking will be in December. Did you know that Dustin is also an Award Winning Filmmaker? ‘Tis true. But I digress.

Farm = Boring. As the people of Green Farm are gathering firewood in a kind of lazy and haphazard way, when Team Zombie arrives in full force, Daryl leading the way on his motorcycle. Shane, all decked out in Dead Fat Otis’s clothes watches with what can only be assumed is a sense of dread. Shane isn’t the best at the ‘face acting’ he’s more of a ‘peck actor.’

In the farmhouse, Carl wakes up, it looks like he’s gonna be fine. The first thing he asks about is Sophia, he wants to know if she’s okay and Rick, being the best dad ever, lies to him.

The rest of Team Zombie are happy that Carl will be all right. But Shane looks like Lenny from Of Mice and Men in Otis’s clothes. I wouldn’t trust him around any bunnies for a while.

Bunnies. Dogs. Cats. Children. Adults. Anything it’s possible to betray…

Once Team Zombie has arrived, there is a little bodiless funeral for Otis, where everyone is super sad.  Except for Shane, who is feeling a little guilt, especially since Otis’s wife is like, right there. Shane tells a little white lie about how Otis sacrificed himself to save Carl. Shane = a right bastard, and maybe a little bit of a sociopath.

You know, there’s something about the actor who plays Hershel… His delivery is so even, it’s kinda creepy. Not anywhere as creepy as Shane here. He’s talking completely differently than he has before, and on top of the shaving scene last week, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he’s losing his damn mind. Ok, ok, lost.

Maggie brings out a survey map and they open it on the hood of Carol’s SUV. The search for Sophia can start in earnest now. Even though it’s day three, and they should just go ahead and call it a body hunt now. I would like a good look at that map. Rick and Hershel decide they should wait until the next day to start the official search.  But Daryl is having literally exactly none of that, and decides he’s heading back to the woods that day.

Um. How many people are here? It’s necessary to wait for Rick and Shane to be rested for the search to resume? I mean, sure, Rick is sort of the main character, but there’s a missing child here! Oh well, I’m sure she’s fine, out alone in the woods for days. It’s not like there’s anything out there that could hurt her. Oh yeah. There are zombies out there aren’t there? Riiiiggghhhhtt.

Shane asks whether or not they are gonna shoot Sophia’s ass if she’s been bit. And Rick says yeah.  Maggie and Hershel look aghast that they would make that choice ((foreshadowing)) and Maggie asks what they would tell Carol if they had to kill Little Zombie Sophia. With probably the most steely look I have ever seen, Andrea locks eyes with Maggie and says “The truth.” For as annoying as I find Andrea at this point, I have to say, this episode really bumped up  my esteem for her. Actually, I like nearly everyone better after tonight. It’s a little disconcerting.

Well, let’s see… this episode is short on the Monologue Club moments, and oh my goodness, things actually happen! And Shane is talking normally again here, like he was before he tossed Otis to the zombies. Yep, crazy.

At this point, Hershel decides to tell Team Zombie that while they are living on his farm, he would feel more comfortable if they kept the guns put away. Rick agrees, even though everyone says they would feel naked without their guns. Hershel says the Green Farm has survived this long without taking up arms against the dead, and he’d like to keep that up for as long as possible. ((foreshadowing))

Wow. Rick and Shane are awfully agreeable to giving up everyone’s guns here. Good thing there aren’t any zombies around…

Maggie has to go to town to get more medical supplies. Rick rightly freaks out, thinking that she’s gonna head back to the high school, but then she’s like “Nah, the pharmacy in town is like totally safe.” So Rick throttles both her and the writers for sending Shane and Otis on a dangerous mission to the high school for no reason.

Such a shame. Maggie seemed like such a nice girl, but I’m pretty sure that a jury would let Rick off, especially on the count involving the writers… oh wait.

I kid. I know that they needed more advanced medical supplies than a pharmacy can provide, but the look on his face when she casually says the pharmacy in town is relatively save is priceless. Instead, he suggests she take Glenn with her. Glenn is good at getting in and out of sticky situations and he could be an asset.

Meanwhile,  Lori and Shane have an awkward moment where Shane asks Lori if she meant it when she asked him to stay with Team Zombie, she says yes. This will inevitably come back to bite her full on the ass.

See above. Bunnies. Bunnies people!

Maggie asks Glenn to come to the pharmacy with her. Glenn stammers out a ‘yes’ before Dale interrupts the awkward to ask Maggie where they can find a little water. She sends him out to the well in the cow pasture.

Um Glenn? Your crush is showing.

Back at the RV, Shane is gathering all the guns together so they can be locked away. Andrea and Shane bond over their respective memberships in the NRA, and how pointless it is to lock all the guns away. Shane decides to use the cleaning and storage of the guns as an opportunity to teach Andrea a little about gun cleaning and maintenance. Maybe with someone to teach her, she’ll stop being such a horrible person.

Over at the house, Daryl is preparing to head out to search for Sophia all on his own. Rick tries to convince him to wait until the next day, when they can make a more comprehensive effort, and Daryl basically calls “foul” on all that and heads out into the woods.

Daryl really is the most sensible person in the show lately, isn’t he? In fact, he’s developing into such a good character I’m in great fear for his continued existence.

After he’s gone, Hershel tells Rick that the Green farm is not used to taking in strangers, so after they find Sophia, and Carl is well enough to move, Team Zombie has to get up out. Rick is basically too flabbergasted to argue.

Lori gives Glenn a list of stuff for the pharmacy, including a ‘personal item’ she wants him to be discreet about. Glenn asks what it is, and Lori basically tells him to mind his own damn business already.

Ok, now wait… Mmmm, I’ll come back to this, but really?

Theodore, and Dale, out in the cow pasture, have a little heart-to-heart about how Theodore is not a quitter, and how when he suggested that they abandon the others, it was the blood poisoning talking. Dale and Theodore resolve to keep their little mini mutiny talk to themselves, which, honestly, I don’t understand why they even decided to bring it up in the first place except to give these two characters a reason to ever speak to each other again out in a cow pasture.

Theodore starts to pump water for the camp as Dale goes wandering around, looking at the pasture. A sound from the well draws his attention, and he looks down inside.  Theodore, finished pumping the water, takes the ladle to his lips and is about to drink before Dale slaps the ladle out of his hands. There is a walker down in the well, and the water might be contaminated.

Wow. We’re like, 15 minutes in. Looks like stuff is gonna actually happen this episode.

Team Zombie, sans Rick, but plus Maggie tries to figure out how to get the big bloated walker out of the well. Theodore suggests they shoot it and then pull it out, but Dale says that if the water’s not contaminated already, splattering it’s brains all over the well will do the job just fine. They have to think of another way to fish the damn thing out.

Off in a far field, Hershel and Rick look at the map, apparently there  are rivers and streams all over the woods, and if Sophia took the wrong one, she could be lost for days (duh.) After dropping this bomb, Hershel wanders off and looks at the admittedly lovely view of the valley. Then things get a little metaphysical as they talk about God. Rick says that the last time he asked God for a favor, Carl got shot, so he’s done with The Almighty for the time being. Hershel reminds him that his coma, and his journey afterwards, including finding his family against all odds, is the hand of God working in his life. Rick is not ready to hear it.

Meanwhile, back in the Three Stooges episode the rest of Team Zombie is trying to recreate, the gang is trying to snag the walker… er… swimmer in a lasso using a canned ham as bait, but the stuck lil’ guy doesn’t want dead flesh, he want the real thing.

So everyone looks at Glenn.

Glenn, you ever think about saying no to these crazy plans? ‘Cause you might want to think about saying no. Just a suggestion.

Smash cut to Glenn, all trussed up, repelling his way down into the well with the lasso. The rest of team Zombie has used the well pump as a pulley to lower him down. This is so stupid. I thought Glenn and Maggie were going to the pharmacy.

It seems to me that this is not the best of all possible plans.

Oh c’mon. What could go wrong?

All my fears or confirmed when the pump breaks dropping Glenn a little too close to the swimmer for comfort. Everyone freaks out, but Glenn proves to be awesome and actually snares the swimmer while he’s down there. Even three inches from death, Glenn is still badass.

Meanwhile Daryl is on The Hunt for Red Sophia, he finds and abandoned house and goes about searching it. Looks like someone has been eating sardines in the place, and sleeping in the little bed in the cupboard, but whoever it was has since vacated. If it were me, and I found a safe place with food, I would bug out after a day or so, too. It’s not like there are ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE.

Team Zombie pulls the swimmer up and almost out of the well, he’s sufficiently gross. But he gets stuck on the lip of the well. In their pulling they break the poor lil’ guy in half and contaminate the well when his lower body and guts fall back into the well.

All together now… “Oops!”

The upper part of the body kind of writhes around, and Maggie is right in the middle of asking what they should do about it when Theodore bashed it’s water logged brains in. Maggie looks positively disgusted ((FORESHADOWING))

Theodore wins line of the week: “Good thing we didn’t do anything stupid like shoot it.”

I laughed out loud, I really did. Oh people. It is a rotting corpse, you know that right?

Back at the road, Carol waits for Sophia to show back up. She has left out food and written a note on the windshield of a car telling Sophia to wait there if she shows back up. Shane and Andrea try to comfort her, but Carol is having exactly none of it. The three of them head back to the green farm.

Andrea and Shane have a conversation about when she can have her gun back. Shane tells her that she needs to learn how to use a gun properly before he wants to give it back to her. Shane says the only way to properly unload a gun into someone is to turn off the switch that makes you human and become cold. Sounds to me like Shane has been watching a little too much “Vampire Diaries”. In his little speech, Shane gets super close to admitting to Andrea that he killed Otis. Like, to the point that it would not be out of the blue for Andrea to ask if he was talking about Otis.

It’s scenes like this that make me dislike Shane a little less… it’s good, I suppose, that we’re keeping some positive layers to the character, because when it all goes sideways it’ll be that much more dramatic, but surely people have to notice that Shane is all over the place here.

Andrea and Shane are bonding a little. I think I can get behind their pairing if the show decides to go that way.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn are headed to the pharmacy. Maggie is disgusted by how easy it is for Team Zombie to kill. Glenn tries to explain that life on the road can make you hard, but Maggie is just a little too sheltered to listen.

It’s cute that Glenn starts off trying to show off here; it’s such a young guy thing to do. “It’s sorta my thing, you know? I’m a loner.” He gets points for realizing that Maggie isn’t buying into it, and seems a little abashed by it. Ah, young love.

They arrive at the pharmacy and head inside to begin their scavenging. Glenn goes for Lori’s ‘personal item’ he finds it and realizes it’s a pregnancy test. Duh, Glenn.

Alright. Seriously? Glenn looked at the piece of paper Lori gave him, didn’t he? He did. We saw him do it. And just now he’s realizing it’s a pregnancy test? What did it say on the paper that he didn’t know what it was before he got to pharmacy? I would think it would be something like, oh, I don’t know, pregnancy test? Somehow I really doubt Lori specified a brand.

Maggie arrives and Glenn freaks out and grabs the first thing , which just so happens to be a box of condoms. This creates a great romantic comedy moment where Glenn stammers and Maggie offers to bone him if he wants.

Right there.
In the pharmacy.

Glenn, jumps at the chance. Clothes come off and Maggie finds a new way to ‘connect’.

Ah, young… physical release? Good thing there aren’t any zombies around. That would be embarrassing. It’s a good scene, if a little abrupt, but hey, the world’s a little different now, isn’t it?

Hershel and Rick survey the camp. Rick begs Hershel to allow Team Zombie to stay. He says that if Hershel really believes in God, he would let them stay. Rick invokes Carl and Otis in his begging. I just hate you so much, Rick.

Hershel tells the story about how his father was a drunk and an abuser, and therefore Rick is an awesome dad by comparison.
Hershel says as long as Team Zombie respects the rules they can stay. ((foreshadowing)) I wonder if he would feel the same way if he knew Team Zombie reduced the farm’s available water by half?

Now, now, it’s only by a fifth. Of course, that only works if none of the wells connect to the same source.

Rick relieves Lori of sitting with shot Carl.

Maggie and Glenn arrive back at the farm, and Maggie tells him that their boinking was a one time thing. Sure it was, sweetie. Sure it was.

Heh. Check out the look on Glenn’s face… ouch! Don’t worry Glenn, she likes you. We can tell, even if she gives Hershel the worst “nothing happened” look ever.

Lori goes out for her pregnancy test. And Glen looks super disappointed in her. I guess she and  Shane didn’t keep their affair very secret when Rick was supposed dead.

Daryl arrives back at the RV and discovers that Carol has spent the day cleaning it. He gives Carol a Cherokee Rose and tells her the story about it. Oh, Daryl, all I want to do is hold you in my arms and whisper sweet nothings.

Well, I want you to take a bath first, but then sweet nothings.

He tells her that he thinks the Cherokee Rose bloomed for Sophia… so now does everyone thing the kid is dead?

While I don’t share Dustin’s amorous designs on him, again, Daryl is shaping up to be the best character in the show. Clearly the writers like him, too, although he does get to join the Monologue Club here. Luckily for everyone involved, this one has a point.

Carl tells Rick that he knows Sophia is still missing. Lori told him. I can now see the whole dynamic of Rick and Lori’s married life.  Rick blubbers to Carl about how they will find Sophia then the two of them bond over the fact that they had both been shot. Rick gives Carl his hat. This is a special moment and I kind of love it. They exchange “I love you’s” and Carl falls back asleep, hat perched on his head.

It is a good moment, and it’s nice to see Rick interacting with his son without all the weirdness of last week. Which leads us to…

Rick symbolically removes sheriff’s star and all his other stuff. Then he undresses oh… so… slowly while Lori watches. They catch a glimpse of each other and have a tender moment as Rick puts his badge away. I suppose symbolizing his abandonment of the world they used to know.

… this nice moment. Also nice to see a tender moment between Lori and Rick, especially since…

Lori, knife in hand, goes to take her pregnancy test in a field. We get to hear the urine sounds and everything.  I guess it’s an instant read test that totally exists in the real world, because Lori confirms she’s pregnant before she even stands up. She cries, and wishes Maury Povich wasn’t eaten by zombies.

Thank goodness that she has such a stable relationship history, and I’m sure Rick will be happy to learn he’s going to be a father again, and oh, wait. Yeah. Um, good thing the father is so stable and well-adjusted and oh, wait. Whoops. 

And that’s it for this episode folks. The lesson here? Getting pregnancy tests will get you laid. Or something like that. See you next week!

[Official Show Site at AMC]

THE WALKING DEAD
S02o3 – “Save The Last One”

Timothy: Welcome back to Timothy and Dustin’s “The Walking Dead” review… delayed a bit, ’tis true, but complete with our customary silliness. Spoilers are ahead…

Dustin: SHOWER TIME!! Shane shaves his head. For little to no reason. I wonder where we are in the timeline of the show, because last episode, when Shane left for the high school, he had all his hair.

Cut to: Shane and Otis run from zombies in the high school as Rick and Lori talk about Shane and how awesome he was back in high school when he was a common car thief. Rick is a terrible storyteller. Lori finally convinces Rick to eat a sandwich.

Timothy: Rick has lost his bloody mind, and apparently told this story 1000 times. It doesn’t actually sound like a good enough story to tell over and over, but Crazy Rick left logic and common sense last episode, and clearly hasn’t found it again.

Dustin: Carl is gonna die so horribly with these two looking after him.

Back in the RV no one is getting any sleep because Carol is crying and Andrea is trying to figure her gun out. Finally, Daryl gets sick of their drama and goes to face the night alone and perhaps be eaten by zombies rather than listen to their bellyaching.

Andrea ends up going with him. Which you can tell was exactly what Daryl wanted.  

Otis and Shane somehow end up trapped on top of some bleachers in the high school gym and they try to figure out how they are going to get out of the school.  Their plan is flawed at best. But is seems to work.

Timothy: Oh it’s a bad plan… This isn’t going to end well, you can tell. Would love to have Shane get munched, but with the shaving scene…

Dustin: We’ll know if we ever see Otis again. Why is Shane still shooting them in the chest? Don’t he know anything?

Timothy: Erm… because we’ve established that he’s pretty much crap?

Dustin: Shane makes a run for the window and as he’s about to drop out of it. A zombie attacks him but Shane is able to shoot him in the mouth and escape. Unfortunately, Shane ends up falling out a window and possibly breaking his fool leg.

Meanwhile, Theodore and Glenn arrive at the Green place and try to figure out how polite they should be. Maggie is there and she sees Theodore’s wound, and for a second it looks like she’s gonna shoot our poorly named homeboy, but Theodore tells her he just cut it so she invites them inside for a little southern hospitality.

Timothy: They are a trusting lot, aren’t they? “Hey! Total strangers with guns! Come on in!”

Dustin: Carl is sick in bed and everyone is super sad about it.

Hershel tells them that if Shane isn’t back soon, Carl doesn’t have much time.

Timothy: Which would be about the 50th time he’s said that. You know, it’s possible that Carl may not have much time…

Dustin: Daryl and Andrea talk about how great he is, and how he’s been a survivalist since the age of nine when he spent nine days in the woods lost. He is the only person in the world that thinks Sophia is still alive. At least someone is looking for Sophia, unlike poor little Daryl. Nobody looked for him.

Timothy: Daryl really has become, especially in light of Rick’s breakdown, the voice of sense in this show. Not sure how we ended up with the brother of a psychotic racist being the most interesting character.

Dustin: Rick and Lori have a conversation about how terrible the world has become and how Carl might be better off dead. You know I’m not someone who believes in beating women. But someone needs to give Lori a swift slap in the face. She’s the one who finally convinced the CDC guy to let everyone out, now she’s ready to let her son die. Sloppy show, sloppy.

Timothy: Well, since we have decided that every character needs monologues now, and Rick is sort of the main character, though I’m not sure he’s worth it, it’s nice to see a little life enter into them. Rick comes to life a little bit for the first time to argue that there should be hope, but can’t really come up with a good reason. Rick? Hint: Where there’s life, there’s… c’mon. Really? You don’t know this one?

Dustin: Back at the high school, Shane discovers Rupert Everett in zombie form. It’s creepy, I never noticed how much that guy looks undead before.  He shoots My Bests Friend’s Wedding in the face and tries to hobble off on his sprained ankle.

Timothy: I’m sorry, I’m too busy laughing. “He shoots My Best Friend’s Wedding in the face…” Don’t mind me, carry on.

Dustin: Otis arrives just in time to save the day.  Shane and Otis run for safety.

Rick and Lori are so dumb. But Carl wakes up and they go to his bedside. Carl is in pain and we’re all super sad about it. Carl tells Lori about the deer, but then he has a seizure. And Lori freaks the freak out. Then it’s over and it’s time for another blood transfusion.

Timothy: Rick needs orange juice and a cookie apparently. It was interesting to see Carl decide to tell his mom about the glories of nature when he’s, you know, dying. And it’s a potentially dangerous transfusion, so c’mon, OJ and a cookie, is that too much to ask?

Dustin: Shane and Otis are tired of running, but there’s not a lot more thy can do. Somewhere along the line, Otis hurt his leg, too, so they are both hobbling around.

Timothy: And we now have a new kind of walker… Stealth Zombies! Ninja Zombies! How else to explain the dozens of them that sneak up on Shane and Otis? Really? Gahhh! Or perhaps they’ve discovered a new sound muffling chain-link fence? Nah, I like Ninja Zombies. Better than the show just trying to give us a jump scare and doing a bad job of it.

Dustin: Back at the RV, Dale wishes he had a cigarette. Carol joins him on the roof of the RV.

Timothy: Oh hey! Nice job Dale… give the one person on the show who can’t handle a gun a gun, that seems sensible.

Dustin: Daryl and Andrea are in the woods, looking for Sophia, and they come across a camp site where a zombie who tried to commit suicide, but then turned. Daryl is fascinated. Andrea is sickened to her stomach.  Dale and Andrea talk about the meaning of life before Andrea convinces him to shoot the poor hung walker in the head a put it out of it’s misery.

Timothy: While it is a nice gesture, it’s also a stupid one. The one weapon they have with reusable ammo? Sure, let’s waste a crossbow bolt, why not? Oh, and a note to the effects team… the hanging rig is visible. Not just a little bit. A lot. Muchly. More than it should be. Which would be not at all.

Dustin: Still. No. Sophia. I wonder if the actress had to get, like her tonsils out or something.

Timothy: Note to self. Do not play Hide and Seek with Sophia. She is the Bestest Ever. Or the victim of Bad Writing. Your choice.

Dustin: Dale is kind of obsessed with Andrea. It’s a little creepy.

Timothy: They’re a couple in the comic aren’t they? Yay awkward courtships.

Dustin: Theodore has his arm sewn up, everyone thanks Meryl for his sleeping around. Glenn goes out to have a little pray, but Maggie interrupts him. They talk about how terrible everything in the world is. Then they talk about whether or not God exists. Maggie had some faith before the zombies, but she’s not so sure now. Then she goes inside to get Glenn more lemonade… where are they getting all these fruit juices from?

Timothy: Oh Glenn and Maggie! So close! You haven’t quite joined the Monologue Club, but it’s close… between the 2 of you only about 1:30 of screen time was burned, but neither one of you were irritating doing it, so that’s a win for everyone. Rick? Take notes.

Dustin: Dale wanders around the highway looking for… God knows what.

Rick tells the damn deer story, like we all didn’t see it 3 weeks ago. Shut up, rick, Lori watches the show, she knows already.  Rick talks about all the beauty and living left to be done. Lori cries and we all try to decide if we would be better off without them.

Timothy: Sigh. Really? Where there’s life there’s, ah screw it. Rick? Pull it together.

Dustin: Shane and Otis are still running from all the zombies. Shouldn’t adrenaline be taking them through their sprained ankles and hurt feelings?

Timothy: I like how Shane more or less says, “Leave me behind I’ll only slow you down”, and Otis,  having seen a movie and read a book knows that this is only the cliché talking and tells Shane “Get up and walk, you pansy.” Or words something to that effect. You know, Otis is pretty awesome. It would be a shame if something were to happen to him. ‘Cough’

Dustin: Carl needs them medical supplies! Hershel says he is out of time. (Wait, what? Carl is out of time?- TH) Rick slops his vagina all over the place and makes Lori choose whether Carl gets to have the surgery or not. Lori says do it. Hershel prepares for the surgery and Shane and Otis show up just in time!!!  Everyone cries and it’s terrible.

Oh.

Otis didn’t make it.

Apparently he met his end off-screen. Rick and Shane make out and Shane weeps for the loss of Otis.

Meanwhile at the RV, Daryl and Andrea return without Sophia. Everyone is sad. Dale gives Andrea back her gun. Stop being such a creepy stalker, Dale. He asks for her forgiveness, and she says she’s trying. It’s all very… unnecessary.

Timothy: Well, again, it’s awkward courting time, with Dale admitting that he’s making Andrea’s decisions for her. C’mon Dale, at least wait until after the wedding. But I suppose we’re setting the stage for the comic’s romance between the two. Then again, the comic doesn’t have Daryl, does it? And he’s taking walks in the woods with Andrea…

Dustin: Maggie cries for dead Otis and Glenn asks her to tell him about the other dead people she has lost since the uprising. She shows him all the pictures on the fridge of the dead people.

Hershel reports that Carl will be fine. But Hershel just is worried about telling his nurse that Otis is dead. Lori goes to tend Carl, and Rick goes to comfort Peggy or whatever the nurse’s name is.

Timothy: Wow. That’s some fast surgery. Really fast. Commercial break fast.

Dustin: Lori cries until there are no more tears left for the rest of us, Shane comes in and Lori tells him that he can stay with them.

Maggie brings Shane Otis’ old clothes to wear, which is a very WTF moment for me. I mean Shane and Otis have nowhere NEAR the same build. Otis has like, 15 sizes on him. But that doesn’t matter, be cause now we’re back where we started with Shane in the shower shaving his head.

We get a flashback where we discover that Shane shot Otis and left him for zombie chum so Shane could get away with the supplies.

Shane you are a right bastard.

I don’t want to be on your bad side… or apparently you good side either. The best side of Shane to be on is the… not anywhere near side.

Timothy: What’s the old joke? “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you?” It’s a pretty graphic scene, and that’s good… this kind of asshat-ery gets a good man killed, and even then, Shane messes it up, because Otis still has some of the medical equipment. So BastardShane has to go back and fight with the man he just shot, wasting time they both could have used to escape to beat Otis enough to get him to let go. And Otis’ death scene ain’t pretty folks. But at least Shane seems shaken by it and what he’s done. At least we have that.

Nope, not good enough. I think it’s time to kill off Shane before he gets everyone else killed or does the job for the zombies.

And that’s Episode 3. I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here, and I want you all to consider it until next week: Shooting deer will get you eaten by zombies. Remember that, and we’ll see you for Episode 4!

[Official Show Site at AMC]


Season 2 Episode 2 “Bloodletting”


A Review by Timothy Harvey and Dustin Adair

Timothy: Hello Lads and Lasses! In this weeks installment of Dustin and my reviews of the new season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, we continue to resist having a consistent format, Dustin recaps the show, and I consider the time spent on talking, talking, talking, as well as ask questions of geography. Spoilers Ahead!

Dustin: So, we start with a flash back to the first episode of season 1, but this time, from Lori’s point of view.  She’s having literally the same conversation that Rick and Shane had with a random woman I can only assume, by the fact that she is not in the series, Lori used as zombie bait. They talk until Shane arrives to tell Lori that Rick has been shot. Stoic, Lori marches over to where Carl is just getting out of school to tell him about his father’s medical condition.

Timothy: Actually, it’s kind of nice to see Shane back when he wasn’t the Worst Best Friend In The World…

Dustin: Then we flash into the woods where Carl has just been shot. Fat Otis stumbles out of the woods, apologetic for shooting the kid and tells Rick that he needs to run like crazy to Hershel’s farm so Carl can get some medical attention. So Rick runs like a crazy person to Hershel’s farm. Hershel’s older than I expected him to be. And you know, I was really expecting to see Sophia, like standing on Hershel’s porch like a little moron. I don’t know why.  And somebody better go back to get that deer. It’s good meat.

Timothy: Please note… the house is within running distance from the church. This is what, day two of the Search For Sophia? Shane is being all human again. Maybe planning on leaving is a cure for bastard.

Dustin: Meanwhile in the woods, Lori is spooked by her womanly instincts. Everyone tells her to stop being so bug-eyed and keep moving. Carol and Andrea bond over their lost loved ones and Daryl is the voice of reason, telling everyone that Sophia is fine.

Meanwhile, back on the highway, Dale and ((sigh)) T-Dog check his wound which is totally infected. Oh! And T-Dog has a real name! It’s Theodore!! I’m calling him that from now on. Have some dignity Theodore. They begin ransacking the cars for antibiotics.

Timothy: And here we have my vote for the creepiest scene in this show, ever. As Ted-Dog goes through a car’s glove box, he looks into the back seat and sees a blood-spattered baby seat. A blood. Spattered. Baby. Seat. It’s just bloody enough… to be the stuff of nightmares. Shudder.

Dustin: Rick throws himself a pity party over Carl’s gunshot wound. Shane pulls him back from the brink. Sort of. They kind of… monolog all over each other. Rick keeps repeating that if a little girl goes missing, you look for her. God, Rick, shut up. I hate your face.

Timothy: Time in: 13:24. Time out: 14:24. Feels like it’s much longer, but not as long as…

Dustin: Carl makes it through surgery (of course) and Rick freaks out about Lori not knowing what’s up. Shane offers to go get Lori. I am noticing a suspicious lack of Hershel’s children… only Maggie is around right now. I hope the other 4 show up soon. I may have to stop watching this show if the other Greene children are not in this series.

Shane talks about going to get Lori for about 1 million hours instead of actually going to get her. He talks so long that before he actually leaves, Hershel comes in and tells Rick that Carl needs actual surgery to save his life. Hershel needs a respirator and other surgical supplies. Shane decides to not go after Lori after all, and instead decides to go with Fat Otis to the high school to gather the supplies. Maggie offers to head to the highway to get Lori.

Timothy: … this part. Yea gods. 16:35-18:30. I get that this is the kind of conversations people have, of course they are, although Rick’s “I have to go get Lori and leave my child with total strangers” bit is weird as hell, but something about this whole bit just drrrraaaaaaaaaaggggggsssssss on. But Otis is pretty awesome.

And please note: The school is within 5 miles of the house.

Dustin: Back in the woods, Lori and the rest of Team Zombie decide to give up the hunt and go back to the highway, vowing to pick up the search for Sophia in the morning. At this point, Carol begins to freak out. She says she just wants to find her damn kid already, dead or alive, she doesn’t particularly care anymore, she just wants to KNOW. I’m right there with you Carol. Daryl, proving to be the best at everything, tells her to stop being such a moron. They will find Sophia, and she will be fine.

Otis and Shane head to the high school for the supplies.

Dale and Theodore talk about how there are no drugs in the whole damn traffic jam. And Theodore waxes philosophical about their place in Team Zombie.  Theodore thinks that when the going gets tough, the tough get to lynching the black folk. Dale tries to talk him down but Theodore is not having it. He wants to abandon the others in the RV and get the hell out of Dodge. Fortunately it’s the blood poison talking and Dale puts him on a strict regimen of ibuprofen (the only drug they had available.)

Andrea is in the middle of grousing when she is attacked by a walker. For someone who wanted to die, like 2 days ago, she sure does fight like the dickens when she is attacked by certain death. Things are looking grim, but Maggie busts in on a horse with a baseball bat to save the day. Maggie wins the bad-ass-of-the year award. She swoops Lori up on the horse and tells the rest of team Zombie how to get to the farm before she bugs out.

Timothy: Wow. So the group is walking along, all together, right? Then apparently Andrea is attacked by the Spiderweb of Bad Editing, because suddenly she’s alone and the others are so far ahead that when she screams they aren’t sure where she is, and have to come running from a really long way away… wow. Apparently if you want someone to ride to the rescue on a horse you need to toss reality out the window to get the shot. And no one noticed that the woman who wants to die wasn’t with the group? Really?

Dustin: When the others arrive at the RV, Dale tries to get the story out of everyone, but instead gets the sad eyes from Andrea. Should have let her blow herself up when you had the chance dude.

Rick and Hershel bond over the beauty of the Green homestead. Rick has to break the news that there will be no cure to the zombie uprising. Hershel is a biological optimist and thinks everything will work itself out in the end.

This show loves its monologs so much, it needs to take them to Iowa and gay marry them.

Timothy: 29:00- 30:40. It’s weird. They’re only about a minute long each, but yeah, it’s like they have to give everyone a speech this week. They should stop that.

Dustin: Lori arrives and cries over Carl’s limp body.

More blood-letting as Carl has had 2 transfusions. Where the hell is Shane with those supplies? Rick has some OJ as Lori grills Hershel on the surgery plans for Carl. Hershel reveals that he is a vet, not a people doctor. Lori loses it. Rick falls over, and Hershel wins the line of the week:

Lori: You’re in completely over your head, aren’t you?

Hershel: Ma’am, aren’t we all?

Oh, and here are Shane and Otis. They arrive at the high school only to discover that it is completely overrun with zombies.

Timothy: Nope, got nothin’. Dustin’s on a roll and I’m just going to let him go. 😉

Back at the RV, after much hemming and hawing, Team Zombie decides to send Glenn and Theodore to the farm so Theodore can get some much needed medical attention. Daryl, Dale, Andrea, and Carol will wait one more night on the highway just in case Sophia decides to finally show up. Dale waxes about how he hope the Greens have the medicine to save Theodore. Daryl snorts and walks away. Everyone makes ‘What a racist’ faces until he returns with a bag of drugs. Apparently all you had to do was ask, because Daryl still has his brother Meryl’s stash, which is the craziest assortment of prescriptions this side of “Absolutely Fabulous”. Meryl got crabs a lot, among other things.

This whole scene makes me nervous. They are turning Daryl into such an awesome character, I’m worried about what will happen to him when Meryl inevitably returns.

Shane and Otis distract the zombies with flares so they can get to the medical supplies. It works like a charm. Stupid Zombies.

Rick has a breakdown about Shane not being back with the supplies yet. Lori tells him to sit his sorry ass down and wait like a good boy.

Otis and Shane fill their bags with booty; it’s not very exciting. Until they get out of the medical tent and the zombies attack. They make a run for it. The zombies right on their heels, Shane blasts his way into the high school and closes the security gate, trapping him and Otis in a small area with zombies very close.

CLIFHANGER!!

Timothy: Dun Dun DUNNNNNNNN!!!! Ok, I have to ask… why the hell is it talking so long to find Sophia? We’ve got a highway bordering one side of the search, a church and a house within walking distance and a school less than 5 miles away, and one little girl can get that lost? With people tromping around and yelling for her for two days? Um, really? Seriously, if she’s not dead, I’ll be really surprised, because at this point I’m not sure there’s any other rational explanation. Well, aside from bad writing that is.

I think you can see that we’re not enraptured with the new season so far, but we’re still hopeful. Next week, we’re hoping to have Miss Molly join us, and looking to have Curtis back soon too… See you then!

[Official Show Site at AMC]

“The Walking Dead”
Season 2, Episode 1 – “What Lies Ahead”

A Review By Timothy Harvey, Dustin Adair and Curtis Smith

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
@scifi4me I Hope this season of The Walking dead has even less zombies
than the first. #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Timothy: Hi folks! Dustin Adair (Dustin and Molly: Reviews For Humans) and I had a chance to sit down with Curtis Smith and some other friends and watch the season premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, and we  have a few thoughts on this first episode of the second season. What follows is Dustin and my recap/commentary, punctuated by the Tweets Curtis sent out during the show. There be Spoilers here, and we make no promises about appropriateness and coherency. You have been warned…

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Season 2, GOBLINS? @SCIFI4ME #THEWALKINGDEAD 16 Oct

I suppose we should start at the beginning, where we have a series of clips from season1, bringing us up to speed in a nice little video recap, followed by, um… another recap. Rick (Andrew Lincoln), sits atop a building in zombie infested Atlanta, broadcasting on his radio to Morgan (remember him? ALLLLLLL the way back in the first episode), and telling him, well, about what we just watched in the recap. And telling him, and telling him and, good lord, this is going on forever, and it’s awful. The writing is terrible and it’s just dragging on… not the best way to start things…

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Still no goblins @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
First rule of zombie etiquette. Wait for a moment of jubilation and
move in. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Dustin: But what are you gonna do? This is TV, and sometimes it sucks. But it doesn’t suck for long as Rick dismounts the roof and joins the rest of the cast under some trees… you know I think the cast as a whole needs a name. Something like Team Zombie or Upset Nation or whatever. Something snappy. Anyway. Rick, his lovely bug-eyed wife Lori, and Adorable Moppet Carl mount up in their SUV with crazy mom Carol and Sophia (more on Sophia later).

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
I’m not sure one Asian guy in the group constitutes racial diversity.
@scifi4me #thewalkingdead #affirmativeaction 16 Oct

Team Zombie heads on down head on down the road. Or the Highway. With Daryl n his Boss Hog; Glenn, T-Dog (really, show? One black character and his name is T-Dog?) Andrea, and the old guy.. I’m thinking his name is… Randy? In the RV and Rick, Lori, Carl, Carol and Sofia in the SUV. Shane is somewhere in there, too. But in my opinion, Shane should have died at the end of last season. So the less said about him, the better.

The exodus from Atlanta goes pretty well until they run into a traffic jam that is Literally dead in the road.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
If I don’t get a goblin soon, I’m going to start thinking there’s only
zombies in this show. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Timothy: Well, I do think you have to note the exchange between Andrea and Shane, sorta bonding over guns, ’cause that will come back later… and the old guy is Dale, driving the RV. Yeah, the traffic jam is a pretty effective visual. It’s something this show does well, giving us dramatic scenes of the devastation left behind by the rise of the Undead. And when the radiator hose blows on the RV, our band of survivors finds themselves in a pretty damn big junk yard, so they set out to find a new hose. They also start searching the abandoned cars for stuff they can use and more gas, although Lori feels like they’re grave-robbing.

Of course, since the show is called “The Walking Dead”, the discovery of water and other useful things is cut short by the appearance of a LOT of zombies, making their way through the wrecked and abandoned cars.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Where did he learn to eviscerate stuff? I mean really. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Dustin: And by a lot, we mean A LOT. According to “The Talking Dead” – the talk show hosted by Chris Hardwick, which comes on after “The Walking Dead” – there were 150 extras in full zombie makeup (and shoes) used in that sequence. Also used in that sequence? Silence. The entire main cast had to find places to hide in the quietest ways possible so under cars they all go. The humans hiding in terrified quiet as the zombies pass literally inches by. It was very powerful.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Never mind. Dustin just reminded me the black dude is still with us.
@scifi4me #thewalkingdead #affirmativeaction 16 Oct

The only thing that I had a problem with here was T-Dog. Ugh, every time I write that, I can feel Rosa Parks rolling over in her grave. Anyway… T-Dog, instead of hiding under a car, for some reason, decides to make a run for it. In his convoluted attempt to escape, he ends up cutting his arm pretty badly. SO he limps. Bleeding and pouring blood and bleeding all over the place, and tries to find a place to hide. He is finally saved by formerly racist Daryl, who throws him to the ground, and lumps a dead body on top of him and himself. The zombies shamble by without so much a noticing them.

SO who is getting noticed? Sophia. See, Sophia makes a noise or passes gas or something, I forget, and draws the attention of a couple of zombies. The creatures go after her and end up chasing her off the highway and into the woods.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Sophia is sooooo zombie chum. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Rick, ever the dutiful hero, heads after her.

Timothy: Zombie shoes. Zombie flip flops… seriously? There’s a zombie in FLIP FLOPS? Anyway… yeah, it’s nice to see Daryl being more than the stereotype he so easily could have been, but it’s been sort of a sudden change, hasn’t it? Not a complaint so much as an observation… maybe it’ll be fleshed out more later.

Meanwhile, back in the RV, Andrea finds herself trapped in the bathroom, disassembled gun in hand, while a zombie tries to get through perhaps the worst door in the world to try and keep anything out. Dale drops a screwdriver down through the skylight, and she does away with it. Lots of blood shooting out of the zombie’s head though, and awfully red blood at that. Shouldn’t it all have pooled to the extremities and be browner? Ah well, it looks cool anyway.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
The called that group a zombies a herd. Why not hoard? Or a murder of
zombies? @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Sophia, as it happens, makes the mistake of scooting out from under the car before all the zombies have gone (although I like your version better). Rick hides her down by the river and tells her to head back to the others as he leads the zombies away, but after going all Rambo on them, he returns to find her missing… DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN!!!!

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
GAWD kids ruin everything. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Dustin: So basically the rest of the episode is spent looking for her while Rick wrestles with the guilt of losing her and Crazy Mom Carol blames him. Finally the whole Team Zombie ends up tromping through the woods, looking for Sophia.

Okay I have to stop. Can I just say that this is supposed to be the SEASON PREMIERE!! And they spend 90 minutes wandering around the woods. It’s annoying. This whole episode is superfluous.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Where’s your savior now, zombies? #thewalkingdead #atheism 16 Oct

Timothy: Well, I wouldn’t say completely superfluous. We did get a nice bit where Andrea ripped into Dale for basically blackmailing her into living, and Lori got to smack down the gang for expecting Rick to lead them, and then bitching about his decisions all the time. Plus we got a pretty dramatic ending, but yeah, when the majority of the episode is a bunch of people tromping around the woods? Disappointing.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Is it that hard to believe that a woman can handle a gun? @scifi4me
#thewalkingdead 16 Oct

But that’s the problem this show had last season too, isn’t it? When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s not, well, it’s just disappointing. Here’s hoping we get out of the woods, literally and figuratively, next week.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
The thing that really bugs me about zombies, is that they are ALL
hungry. They’re never horny. @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Take off your hat when talking to zombie jesus. #thewalkingdead #catholosism 16 Oct

Dustin: And we did get the great image of Carl being shot in the woods, which did happen in the comics. If it were up to me, there would be more great moments like that. Stuff that the people who watch this show because of the comics can point to and say “SEE!!” Stuff like Carl being shot help, but I want a little more. I want Andrea to stop being such a whiner all the time and learn to be bad ass. I want Glenn to do more than stand around being adorable. I want Shane to DIE. It’s a simple dream. Maybe this season will provide it.

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
And that’s why I hate deer so much. They kill children. @scifi4me
#thewalkingdead 16 Oct

Creepy_Curtis Curtis Smith
Wouldn’t it be cool if Bill Murray did a cameo as himself in this
show? @scifi4me #thewalkingdead 16 Oct

[Official Show Site at AMC]   [Mr. Smith on Twitter]   [Mr. Harvey on Twitter]   [Dustin on Twitter]

DOCTOR WHO
“The Wedding of River Song”

A Review By Timothy Harvey

As the Doctor’s time runs out, he finds there is one thing standing between him and his death, the woman who is programmed to kill him, the woman who loves him, the woman who may just destroy the universe: River Song.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Wow. This review… this review required going back and watching the entire season again. Twice. It involved watching “The Wedding…” 5 times, with a 6th playing as I type this. It has led me to two conclusions: first, that Matt Smith truly has made the Doctor his own, and is one of the best of the many truly wonderful actors to play the part, and second, young River Song is one hot mess.

Good god. Let’s be clear, I really like the character of River Song, and Alex Kingston is an actress I can watch read a phone book. The River of “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”, of “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”, of “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon”: Wonderful. The River of “Let’s Kill Hitler” and “The Wedding of River Song”? Good god, can we never see her again? Please?

Ok, to be fair, River in those two episodes is meant to be a young River, for all intents and purposes the equivalent of teen/20-ish years old, especially if she develops like Time Lords seem to do. More than once in the show’s long history, the Doctor has implied that the first hundred years or so are the Gallifreyans childhood, and while he may have been joking, from the evidence of those last two episodes, River is clearly far from an adult, and certainly not the strong, independent, equal she will become. Consider this little piece of dialogue from Amy and River in “The Impossible Astronaut”:

“River, we can’t just let him die, we have to stop it! How can you be ok with this?”

“The Doctor’s death doesn’t frighten me, nor does my own. There’s a far worse day coming for me.”

Now consider this exchange between River and the Doctor from “The Wedding of River Song”:

“I can’t let you die, without knowing you are loved! By so many and so much, and by no one more than me!”

“River, you and I, we know what this means. You and I, we are ground zero of an explosion that will engulf all reality. Billions on billions will suffer and die!”

I’ll suffer, if I have to kill you.”

More than every living thing in the Universe?”

“Yes.”

Sound like a teenager’s view of love to anyone else? Nothing else mattering but being together?

Blarg. One hopes that from here on out we’ve seen the last of Young River, because she’s one screwed up Chickie. The Adult River is something wonderful and cool, the Young River nearly destroyed the entire bleeding Universe for love of one man, something that is more or less the opposite of what the Doctor believes in. When he says he’s embarrassed by her, it plays like he’s trying to goad her out of the lovesick fangirl she’s being, because here, that obsessive love is going to destroy everything the Doctor fights for. And that she turns on a dime and lets him have his way seems as much “Oh Joy! I get to be Mrs. Doctor!” as the revealtion that he’s got a plan. Driving this view home is the end, where Adult River visits Amy and Rory, and she acts, oh I don’t know, like a grown up and not a teenager. Please Mr. Moffat, more of Adult River, because we’ve had our visit with her early days and we all know how she came to be and please please please can we never come back? Mrs. Robinson yes, fangirl no.

Whew. Little rant there. So, what about the rest of it all? Well, the good news is that for about 70% of the episode we get some pretty cool timey-wimey-ness, and for the most part, answers to this season’s questions. The Doctor comes up with a plan to avoid his death, Amy gets to have her revenge on Madame Kovarian, and Rory gets to continue to be a badass, and while we’re there, those parts are very cool. In reverse order then…

As I’ve written a few times before, Rory has really developed A LOT throughout his time in the TARDIS, from being the hapless boyfriend to being The Boy Who Waited, to being the kind of man who makes terrible necessary decisions because they have to be made. Even in this alternate timeline, he’s become the soldier out of necessity and stands beside Amy, although neither of them are aware of their relationship in the real reality. Well, not initially anyway, but events will make that clear to them both, and the moment when the Silence break down the door and call him The Man Who Dies And Dies Again, and Amy saves him is one we’ve waited for. But it’s before that, when the EyeDrives are having their terrible effect, when Rory refuses to remove his because he won’t be able to fight the Silence without it? He stands there, one man in terrible agony, one man against an army of the Silence, because someone has to. Bravo Rory.

As for Amy Pond, again, I’ve written much about how she’s been treated this season, and here we get the strong, in control Amy that she deserves to be, AND we get a reaction to losing her baby! Bonus! Of course it’s still not the reaction we should have seen, with Amy losing her damn daughter to the Silence, but yes, it’s what we’re going to get. And it’s not so bad in fact… on their way to join the Doctor and River, Amy and Rory walk past the captive Madame Kovarian, reeling from the EyeDrive assault, and we get this:

“A..Amy… help me.”

“You took my baby from me, and hurt her. And now she’s all grown up and she’s fine, but I’ll never see my baby again.”

“But you’ll still save me though… because he would. A.. and you’d never do anything to disappoint your pre-precious Doctor”

“The Doctor is very precious to me, you’re right, but do you know what else he is, Madame Kovarian? Not here. River Song didn’t get it all from you… sweetie.”

It’s controlled, but it’s fury, and for the first time, Amy Pond willingly takes a life. And it’s something she is conflicted about, even when the timeline is restored, because she still remembers. Would that we had seen even this much over the loss of Melody, but alas. Still, it’s something, as is her real joy when River reveals that the Doctor found a way to cheat death.

For, of course, he does, and it’s pretty elegant, if not fraught with a pretty big “Wait, what?” Using the Teselecta, he goes to his death in a Doctor suit, which takes the fatal blows, and the regeneration we start to see was, um, special effects? And when his friends burned his body, it um… damnit! Right, here’s some of the 30% Just Doesn’t Work. So the Doctor is inside the ship, which has configured itself to look like him. Fine. But we saw the Doctor start to regenerate, which, ok, let’s go with the FX explanation. Dodgy, but ok. But they burned the body. They. Burned. The. Body. Ok, little Doctor, little TARDIS, they slip away fine. But the ship is still there, and somehow I doubt a) it’s going to be destroyed by fire, and b) considering how important it is to River that the Doctor’s body be safe from his enemies, that she wouldn’t wait until the fire consumed it all. Sigh.

While we’re on things that don’t work… ok, the suit was controlling River, and she was only able to discharge the weapons early, creating the new, and doomed, timeline. But in the original timeline she failed, and so the suit did the work. So why, oh why, was River necessary at all? I’ve seen it suggested that somehow River’s Time Lord/human DNA helped lock the fixed moment in time down even more, but there’s nothing in the episode to suggest that, and well, it didn’t work did it? If the suit just needed someone to be in it, why not just anyone? Why River?

What did work there, and what was important, is that the Doctor knew that River wouldn’t remember committing his murder, that the Silence would wipe her memory. So we get around our little question of River’s reaction to his death, by seeing that it was a true reaction. It must have been terrible knowing that she was serving a prison sentence for killing him, but not remembering how or when, and it explains her “Of course not”, when her bullets fail to bring the Astronaut down… she couldn’t stop it because she didn’t stop it. And she didn’t know that the Doctor survived, because he didn’t tell her that he did, until they were in the alternate timeline… remember that the Doctor spent 200 years traveling before he brought his friends to America, and in there, lived his life with River. Apparently quite a bit of it while she was still in prison, so one assumes that she agreed with his desire to slip into the shadows… and yes, I know that the following video tells a different tale. Mine makes more sense.

And that brings us to the Doctor himself. Recognizing that he’s become too big, too famous, too frightening, he decides to appear to die. And it almost worked too, if it hadn’t been for that damned meddling kid, um River. But in the end, he got to do exactly that, but not before a couple of very important things happened. The second is pure magic, and a little heartbreaking. Railing against what the Universe seems to be pushing him towards and coming very close to the arrogance of the 10th Doctor at the end, the Doctor calls Earth, and tells the person on the other end to get “him” and shouts that “Time has never laid a glove on me!”, only to find that it has.

He called the nursing home where one Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart resides, but too late. The good Brigadier had passed away months before, waiting to see his old friend one more time, and here, here, Matt Smith gives us a moment the Doctor experiences all the time, and one we almost never see. His friends die. They die of old age, and he continues on. It’s subtle, it’s powerful, and it’s true, and Smith delivers it brilliantly. As he says later, his friends are the best part of him, and in the end, they will all be gone. We never got to see Nicholas Courtney make an appearance in the new series, and his death earlier this year means we never will, so it was nice to see that sad moment become a part of the Doctor’s life, and an important one. Rest well Brigadier.

Ahem.

The first is this: While trying to avoid his fate, he searched for information on the Silence, and along the way, we got to see that the Doctor still has that dark edge to him, as he confronts a damaged Dalek:

“Imagine you were dying, imagine you were afraid, and a long way from home and in terrible pain. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, you looked up, and saw the face of the Devil himself. Hello Dalek.”

That that is shown from the point of view of the Dalek is creepy, very creepy, and from the sound of the Doctor’s voice, well, the Time War is far from off his mind. But after a warped game of Live Chess, he find himself in possession of the still living head of Dorium Maldovar and the reason why the Silence wants him dead.

It seems that the Question the Silence doesn’t want answered is one the Doctor is in a unique position to answer, a secret that they know only he possesses, one that can never be revealed. And at a place called the Fields of Trenzalor, at the Fall of The Eleventh, there will come a time when only the truth can be spoken, and there, there, the Doctor will answer the Question, and this the Silence cannot allow. But what is the Question?

Ohhhhh you crafty buggers. It’s quite a big one, and it opens up a LOT of new questions itself. You see the Question that cannot be answered, the one that the Silence needs the Doctor to never answer, the question the Doctor has been running from all his life… is simply this: Doctor Who? Who is the Doctor? Well, that question came up years ago at the end of the first run of the show, and the plan was to reveal that the Doctor wasn’t quite who he claimed to be, and was part of what came to be known as the Cartmel Masterplan. It seems unlikely that we’ll be seeing that hit our screens, since it was so aptly played out in the New Adventures novel LUNGBARROW, but one does suspect that sometime in 2013, around a certain anniversary, the rug will get pulled out from underneath us.

So much more I could write about this episode, from Ian McNiece as Churchill, Mark Gatiss as Gantok, pterodactylus in London, Area 52 in Egypt, and more… but I think we’ve covered the most important parts. So thank you Matt Smith, Alex Kingston, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Steven Moffat and Co. It’s been a hell of a season, and it’s worked more than it hasn’t. You asked big questions and gave us big stories. That they didn’t always work, well, that’s how it goes, and we’re happy you tried, because sometimes you made magic. And now we wait. Because the bad news is that the London Olympics are going to push the next season back to the fall of 2012, and while we’ll have the Christmas Special and there are rumors of an Easter Special, the answers, and the new incarnation of the show are many months away. New incarnation? Yes indeed, because we have something of a reboot here don’t we?

The Doctor is Dead. Long Live the Doctor.

[“Doctor Who” on the BBC web site]     [“Doctor Who” on BBC America]