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Walking Dead Episode 204

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This week’s episode of Walking Dead was all about guilt. Guilt about getting your partner shot, guilt about lying to your son, guilt about bringing a child into a hellish world, and guilt about straight up murdering someone. Because life in the world of Walking Dead isn’t crappy enough already.

“Cherokee Rose” started out with Otis’ funeral, and Otis’ widow asking Shane to eulogize him. Why waste time, let’s get right into the guilt. You practically see the guilt oozing out of Shane as he retold his vague story about Otis’ “meaningful” death. Actor Jon Bernthal uses a certain glazed, downward stare for Shane that is best described as “emotionally shellshocked.” That seems to be Shane’s default expression these days.

Rick lies to Carl about Sophia being ok, then feels guilty. Hershel assuages Rick, then lays on some Christian guilt himself. “Let’s skip the part where we all live in the most horrific of all possible scenarios, and where your son got shot in a freak hunting accident. Let’s focus on Carl coming out of his coma. Why aren’t you more thankful to God for that?”

Daryl doesn’t feel too guilty about anything, but that’s because he’s too busy being awesome. His search for Sophia brings him to an abandoned house that seems to have had a recent visitor. The small bed under the cupboard and the used tuna tin suggested to me that someone had been hiding out there, possibly Sophia. Daryl didn’t mention this to Carol for some reason, instead giving her a flower and telling her the uplifting yet incredibly depressing tale of the Cherokee Rose.

The weird thing is, that story read to me like Daryl saying, “Your daughter’s probably dead, but this might make you feel better about it.” But he ended the conversation with a hopeful note about Sophia liking the redecorated motor home. He’s certainly becoming the Sawyer of Walking Dead – brusque, tough-guy persona hiding a rough-hewn intellectualism and sensitive soul.

Before it starts to sound like I’ve got too much of a man-crush on Daryl, let’s talk about toothsome farmgirl Maggie. Her pragmatism manifests as a sexual frankness that startles Glenn, who seems emotionally unequipped to deal with a girl like that. From either character’s point of view, I can totally understand the drive to get some action, even in a post-apocalyptic world. Hell, especially in a post-apocalyptic world. I would probably figure out ways to do it with my clothes on, though. Instead, Maggie offered us the maximum amount of sideboob possible on cable tv.

The misadventures of the waterlogged zombie in the well gave the series a chance to really crank up the gore. Glenn’s spelunking mission was tense and gave him his own little badass moment, and that zombie was really freaky up close. The scene where it tears in two and T-Dog smashes its face in was probably the goriest we’ve seen all season. That was the only non-flashback zombie we saw this week, though.

By far the most intriguing part of this episode was Rick negotiating with Hershel over the survivors staying at the Greene farm. Hershel wants them to move along once the search for Sophia has ended, and that’s understandable. They’ve gotten along fine for a while, and probably don’t want to share their resources. But then Hershel says a very interesting and mysterious thing: “There are aspects to this I can’t and won’t discuss.” I’ve speculated earlier this season on the reasons the Greene farm has gone so untouched by the zombie plague. The pristine nature of the place was reinforced in this episode with Maggie’s reaction to the split zombie – she’d not seen one up close before, as Glenn points out later in case you missed it. Security is really lax, though. Hershel doesn’t think they need guns, and even the survivors are pretty unguarded. Lori wanders out into a field alone at night to pee on a stick without a care in the world. Well, other than the whole baby thing.

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Posted by on Sunday, November 6th, 2011. Filed under Dark TV, Headline, Images. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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