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Walking Dead Episode 209

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Walking Dead is alive again! This week’s episode lead off with gunfights and gore, and even the relationship stuff was intense, all capped off by Lori setting up a steel cage match between Rick and Shane.

Here we have Lori is the car she crashed being a moron. Here we have a zombie desperately, futilely in search of brains. Here we have the show’s writers, thinking we would find this scene tense because we were worried about Lori and whether she would get away. Here I am on my couch, yelling, “Go zombie! Bite her! BITE! HER!”

Did you ever wonder what zombie teeth on glass would sound like? Now you know. Some of the most effective and horrific scenes in the zombie genre involve zombies mutilating themselves in their mindless attempts to reach their warm and breathing victims. The windshield glass shredding that dude’s face off was an excellent example.

The action does not let up as we head back to Cowboy Rick’s wild west zombie shootout. If you were to make a zombie western, what would you call it? Butch Cassidy and the Undead Kid? The Dead Bunch? The Good, the Dead and the Ugly? The Man Who Ate Liberty Valance?

The scene when Dave and Tony’s friends first show up was brilliant, with our heroes holed up in the saloon sweating bullets. If they’d just been attacked by walkers (or roamers, as the others called them), the choice is simple: shoot your way out, or run like hell. Instead they sweated and ground their teeth until Rick tried to explain, like a sensible man, why their two buddies had pissed on their last floor. You’ve got to respect the response – that guy knew he was in a western, and in westerns you don’t have a cordial chit-chat with the man who shot your friend. You let your gun do the talking.

If nothing else, Hershel gets the line of the night: “Yeah, I can shoot. Just don’t like to.”

Glenn was mostly useless again, but later on in the episode we find out why. He’s so worried about poor Maggie being all lovesick for him, he got too cautious. What if he died and Maggie was left without her noodly, pale, indecisive buddy to romp in the hayloft with? What a bizarre response. Most guys get hyper-aggressive in that kind of situation (also known as the Shane effect). Glenn decides the solution is to push Maggie away and become a celibate zombie-killing monk. A man has to keep his edge somehow, I guess.

It seems like pretty much every relationship in the show is splintering at this point. Maggie’s mad at Hershel. Lori thinks Shane is going psycho. Glenn shuns Maggie. Andrea disagrees with Shane’s bedside manner. Daryl is totally over these people, he’ll be in his tent, thank you very much. T-Dog had a single line of dialog. Again. “Who the hell is that?”

The scene where Shane professes his love, and the “rightness of it,” to Lori was pretty creepy. It was partly because you could feel the intensity of the emotions Shane was feeling, and even understand them a bit. He had a family, a makeshift one, true, but one he really cared about. And just like that he had to watch another man waltz in, “Hey, sorry, not actually dead, thanks for taking care of business, I’ll be reclaiming what’s mine now. We cool?” It helped that the scene was underscored by creepy cello music more fit for a lurking zombie than a, “Shane, we need to talk,” scene.

Meanwhile, Hersh, Rick and Glenn are still trying to shoot their way out of the bar. This is the kind of action the show could use more of. Give the characters brutal choices to make. A lot of people watching were probably thinking, “Just shoot the kid in the head.” They try for a battlefield amputation instead, but at the last second shred the kid’s leg and pull him off the fence. Seriously, watch out for pointy fences people. I know of at least three instances in real life where people impaled themselves on fences and died. Learn from Randall’s mistake.

We have three major conflicts looming over the next few episodes. First is the decision over what to do with Randall once he’s conscious. There’s the Shane and Andrea (and we’d assume Daryl) side, which figures he ought to be killed or at least kept captive. Then there’s the flowers and get well soon canteen side, who want to send him on his way. All this could lead to the next big conflict, an all-out war between the survivors and those other people out there somewhere in their Ford F-150. Who are they? Where are they hiding out?

The real rumble is the one that’s been brewing since episode one of the first season: Shane Vs. Rick. Lori seems to be made of pure evil, manipulating both men into a collision course. She may as well have tied them together with a ten-foot rope, thrown them in a pit and said, “Last man standing gets to be my baby-daddy, and you know you want some of this Olive Oyl action.” Thing is, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. All along Lori’s been so concerned about Carl and how this grim world is making him…you know, grim. Now she’s driving off at night alone, and possibly setting up a situation where Carl sees his own dad murder Shane. Or Shane murder his dad. Either way, pretty f-ed up. It’s almost like she’s thinking, “Welp, I already screwed Carl up, better cut bait and try again with this new baby.”

Maybe Lori’s been a zombie all along. It would explain a lot.

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Posted by on Sunday, February 19th, 2012. 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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