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Walking Dead Episode 210

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On this week’s Walking Dead, Rick and Shane take a zombie road trip with their new little buddy in the trunk, and one of farmer Hershell’s daughters tries to make the zombies’ job easier for them by pre-killing herself.

With no warning, we’re thrown headfirst into a crazy action scene with Shane fleeing a zombie horde and some guy who seems to hog-tied doing the blacktop shuffle toward a knife. Oh, it’s Randall, the guy they rescued from fence impalement last week. Classic cold open, and a great way to start an episode. Imagine if we’d launched with the flaccid scene of Shane and Rick having their little heart-to-heart on the highway. Yawn.

That “little talk” scene got intense eventually, as Rick gets more and more in Shane’s face as he lays it all out for him. For a minute it seems like a stern talking to was all Shane needed, and a bit of his shame over what happened is evident as he can’t meet Rick’s eyes (his admission that Lori and Carl kept Shane alive by giving him something to live for was pretty interesting). We’ll see soon enough that Rick’s going to have to show Shane he’s a man of action, instead of just telling him.

I really have to address the Randall situation. It’s the linchpin of the whole episode (and next week’s, apparently). I see how it’s driving the story in an interesting way, providing a fulcrum for the characters to turn on, dividing them and forcing them to make hard decisions. The problem is, the underlying plot point just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why are they so angry at Randall? Sure, he shot at them, but it was under chaotic and dangerous circumstances. Seems that would be so much water under the bridge in a world like this one. Keep him in the dark about the location of the farm, fine, but I just don’t see why Rick in particular has such a vendetta against him.

There were a few interesting glimpses into zombie ecology (my pet subject) this week. Rick observed that the zombie security guards had no bites. He and Shane seemed sort of half-hearted as they attribute their zombification to scratches. Maybe I’m reading too much into that, but could that be a sign that the zombie plague can become an airborne virus under some circumstances? That could actually be a blessing in disguise, because a virus that transmits via the air doesn’t need zombie bites as vectors. Perhaps that’s part of the virus’ life cycle.

Rick also had a nice theory on zombie winter. If it’s cold and snowy enough, it will at least slow the walkers down, giving the survivors a few months of relative respite. A harsh winter might even deplete the number of zombies – maybe freeze/thaw cycles would cause too much damage to their bodies? In any case, it’s nice to see someone talking about this stuff. These people are so short-sighted. No considerations for rebuilding any kind of society or figuring out the nature and possible duration of the zombie threat. No wonder they’re filled with despair — they’re incapable of making any kind of long-term plans.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we find out that a zombie apocalypse sets feminism back 60 years. Lori’s idea of post-apocalyptic domestic bliss is: “We [women] are just tryin’ to keep it together until the men get back.” She’s mad that Andrea is off doing man’s work when she should be doing laundry and helping with the cooking. We might be tempted to see Andrea as the remedy for all this, a woman capable and determined to be a bad-ass just like the men, but then we find out the root of her angst is pure jealousy. Lori, after all, has not only a husband and a son who’ve survived near-death experiences, she even has a boyfriend on the side. Plus, Andrea has thrown in with the pro-suicide lobby, which is not exactly the most defensible position.

At the public works compound, Rick gives us the funniest (intentionally or not) scene yet – the zombie pile on! They just keep stacking up. Then he can’t seem to aim his gun, what with all the zombie wrasslin’ goin’ on, so he has to shoot other zombies through the first zombie’s head. Nice.

There were a couple of interesting moments this week, where we saw characters visibly make decisions. After Shane hurls the wrench through the window, he sees his own reflection in the shattered glass. Bleeding and enraged, he looks like a zombie himself. It’s easy to overlook it, since the payioff of the scene was the actual zombie coming through the window, but maybe Shane saw something he didn’t like in himself there.

Rick, for his part, seemed to have taken his, “whatever it takes to survive” mantra to heart, abandoning Shane to a seemingly hopeless situation in the school bus. It looked like the sight of the dead security guards in their uniforms and badges reminded him that he is a law man after all. Despite what he said earlier, he is the good guy. He’s the sheriff. So he and Randall rode their horse/Nissan to Shane’s rescue, a ripping great scene that even included a gruesome zombie head squish.

Despite that great bonding moment, Randall still ends up back in the trunk of the car listening to 80s music on his iPod, and Shane still ends up staring pensively out the window at the solitary pastoral zombie walking in slow motion through the amber waves of grain.

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Posted by on Saturday, February 25th, 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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