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The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode Two

Reviewed by Dianthrax

*Be advised: this article contains spoilers & mature content including gross/explicit sexual facts*


The next time that someone tells you they don't watch The Walking Dead because it sucks and they're so much better than you because they read/collect the comics like a real fan should, tell them that's understandable; it's only the most watched drama in the history of basic cable. But you're sure that 11 million people probably just have bad taste rather than one person who's an r-tard. (Then flash your own copy of the comics.)

I'm sorry but I'm getting tired of all the uber-geeks who bitch and moan that the show has nothing in common with the comic books other than the names of certain characters, as though that's a valid complaint rather than a reiteration of the whole point! The show is supposed to be completely different from the comics. You know that element of uncertainty where anyone can die at anytime and you never know what will happen in the next issue? That mystique that makes the comics so terribly addicting? If the show stuck to the comic book storylines it wouldn't have that same element of unpredictability for the viewers who are also readers. The show is deliberately different so that it can have that same addictive shock-value and sense of precariousness for everyone. Which means that technically the writers are diverging from the comics to cater to you & your needs and to make the show better for you. So how about you think about that for a second before you're next whiney tirade that makes all of us comic book geeks look bad?

Getting back to the little factoids I slipped in there; yes, The Walking Dead premiere accumulated approximately 11 million viewers, beating the 10 million-viewer record set almost a decade ago by The Dead Zone. (1) The show's been doing so well in fact, that it's already been given a green light for season three on AMC. It also became a global pandemic this past weekend, broadcasting for the first time in 122 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East through AMC's partnership with FOX International Channels. (2) It was equally successful ratings-wise on foreign TV sets, proving that The Walking Dead is the kind of show that speaks to everyone, even if it's dubbed or subbed.

The second episode of the season had a lot of blood but not much bloodshed. We were introduced to a new family of survivors, got a lot of insight into the characters of Lori, Rick, and Shane and the strange dynamic that the three of them have, Carl is alive but not for long unless he can be operated on, and Sophia is still missing.

It was the kind of episode that reminds you how fragile human beings can be sometimes; our bodies are so breakable, our immune systems can be easily overwhelmed, and something like not cleaning a cut properly or having Neosporin and band-aids could end up killing you. There are a million little things that most of us have constant access to that we don't even think about not having anymore and how much that would suck. We saw and understood the food and water situation, but what about not having any Ibuprophen or Motrin for the pain or ice to put on a broken wrist or sprained ankle? Or having a cold with no cough syrup, decongestants, or even Kleenex? Then without being able to brush & floss your teeth what if something seriously painful goes wrong in your mouth? It's not like there's a dentist you can go to. It makes me think of the movie Cast Away and Tom Hanks dealing with his outrageously painful messed up tooth with an ice skate. That's the kind of treatment you'd be getting most of the time
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It was a nice juxtaposition to have T-Dog coming down with the infection that could kill him while over on Hershel's farm and unknown to anyone else, Carl was fighting for his life with bullet fragments inside him: Something foreign inside the body doing all kinds of damage- the big, strong man invaded by something microscopic that slowly and silently, yet with just as much efficacy as a bullet, starts to take him down while the smaller, more fragile child literally has a hole in his body & is bleeding internally, ripped apart by twisted metal fragments blown into him explosively and without subtlety. Both of them helpless and in desperate need of something they don't have that would save them, though at least Carl isn't awake and forced to do his own frustrated searching for the one needle in the haystack that would be his salvation.

I liked the inclusion of T-Dogs fever-induced paranoia, too. Some people might have found that to be a little random or maybe unrealistic, but speaking as someone who has had an illness with a life-threatening fever (106.2 at one point) trust me when I say that you could experience visual and/or auditory hallucinations, confusion, violent emotional outbursts- and that paranoia could easily be a fever symptom, particularly in the world that those people live in.

The scene where T-Dog finds the cigarettes in that one car and looks back and sees the blood-covered baby-seat was probably one of the most disturbing images in the entire series, at least in my opinion. I know T-Dog was about as horrified as I was, though I can't be sure because I don't know if he has any children in his life to think about being in that seat and what could have happened to them to leave it looking that way. I do. That's why it turns my stomach.

Anyone ever read a short story called "Twisted" by a guy named Kevin Veale? It's unlike any other I've ever read- think "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" with zombies. Anyway, there's a line in it that has stuck with me above everything else and when other stories have faded from the foreground of my memory.

It's a description by the narrator/main character of the sad fate of children in his world, saying that babies faced "being pulled apart like some struggling, gut-filled jelly-donuts."

I thought of it when I saw that seat.

While Sophia being chased then going missing and even Carl lying in bed deathly pale or thrashing and screaming in pain did little to actually make me feel that situation on a visceral level, the one shot of that damned car-seat brought everything home for me. Just sitting at my desk writing about it now makes my throat ache because everywhere I look-on every available surface and wall space- I've taped up pictures of my nieces and nephews who are all under 5.

Part of me wonders if maybe this is a bit of foreshadowing, too. I'm telling you that Lori is totally pregnant and even without the walkers that situation is messed up and volatile. Shane's not going to give up his kid, in fact that would probably be something that would make him happy since it would tie him and Lori together forever. Then you have Rick who isn't going to leave Lori because he won't leave Carl and it's not exactly like you can divorce and share custody here. I like the symbolism within the foreshadowing that with a child the three of them would become permanently bound to each other by blood and not just tenuously tied together friendship.

But before I get into any of that I want to finish up with T-Dog!

Once again he is saved by Daryl, this time he even used Merle's "stash" in order to do so!

(Side note: I'd like to point out that I TOTALLY CALLED IT when I said the bike was Merle's and not Daryl's! Who called it? That's right; I called it! If I wasn't so humble I'd be tempted to say how awesome I am right now...;)

I also think it is far, far too much information for Daryl to share that his brother occasionally comes down with "the clap."

First of all: Um, eww! I don't want to think about Merle having Gonorrhea! That's just nasty! Plus most people that have Gonorrhea also have Chlamydia- also nasty. I don't want to think about pus and swelling and the rumor that the name comes from the "treatment " method of clearing the urethra by holding the penis in one open hand and "clapping" the other down on it hard and fast to force the crud out!
(I looked for a video demonstration of this for you guys but couldn't find any.)

Second of all: why do Merle and Daryl talk about Merle's Gonorrhea problems? Is that something that guys do?? Am I the only one that finds that odd and creepy?

Moving quickly past that, it seems almost like the writers are having Daryl deliberately saving T-Dog over and over. Are they trying to emphasize Daryl's morality or his transformation now that he's part of a healthier "family'? Or maybe they really want to lay the guilt on T-Dog as part of his character's journey? And what's going to happen when Merle comes back? You know he will- probably with a hook or a claw or something for a hand, too.

Andrea was attacked again. She totally panicked and proved, to me at least, that the logic behind not allowing her to have her gun was sound and that it was the right choice, even if it was only a justification for keeping her away from the means to end her own life.

If she'd had her gun she would've used it on that walker in her panic. One walker is something she should be able to take care of with a freaking rock if she's smart about it. But she's terrified of dying the same way as her sister- she admitted as much last week- and so she reacts wildly and would've brought a whole hoard of walkers down on them with the noise if she'd had her piece.

On the other hand, if it was me and someone took my gun and told me they were holding it for me "for my own good" I'd kick em in the nuts and take it from them. It's mine, godammit!

Lucky for Andrea a sexy lady on a horse rode in and saved her. I wonder if she ever played polo. This would be one of the new survivors we're still learning about but I like this one already- riding out into the woods and grabbing up Lori to bring her to Rick so that they could both be there to support each other and care for Carl...

This probably isn't the right time to ask this but is anyone gunna go out and get that dead deer?

I mean Tiny already shot the poor thing and people are starving: it'd be a shame if the King of The Forest's death only served the purpose of slowing down the bullet enough so that it didn't kill Carl on the spot.

I don't think I really need to go into the performances of Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Wayne Callies and how intensely awesome they were or how real they felt. I do feel like Shane really stepped up (finally) when it came to his supposed best friend. I know he loves Carl too but talking Rick down and basically being the rock that he held on to- I didn't know he had it in him. Their scenes together were wonderful.

I'm also liking what we've seen of the other new characters besides the chick on horseback. Otis seems to represent that small part of the human race that actually does the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do. It makes me think that the groups would mesh well since Rick is also that way, as are T-Dog, Glenn, and Dale.

Hershel seems both very grounded and at the same time very naive. On the one hand I believe that he can do what needs to be done to save Carl and that performing surgery on large mammals is the best preparation one could have. Seriously, they're better off with him than a Pediatrician or M.D. because they aren't trained to be surgeons. Sure they know anatomy and medicine, but if it were me and I had to choose between an M.D. who ran his own practice and a Veterinarian who's worked on farms his whole career, I'd go with the guy that's actually used anesthesia and opened up a body before! (That's the vet.)

But it was Hershel's conversation with Rick that made me think he was living in his own little la-la- land. Claiming that this infection was just another plague, that mankind has been fighting off and surviving plagues since the beginning of time, that its "nature correcting herself-restoring some balance" and eventually there will be a cure for this- it's a nice thought but not terribly realistic if you ask me.

Yes mankind has been surviving plagues since the beginning of time. But do we remember how decimated we were by these plagues? The various forms of what we call "The Black Death" wiped out 75-200 million people in Europe and significantly reduced the total population of the world. In the 16th century diseases brought by the Europeans like smallpox devastated the populations of the Inca and Aztec empires which, due to the loss of population and military/social leaders, lead to their subjugation and the collapse of their civilizations. Most people don't even know about the Spanish Flu outbreak during World War I that killed half a million people in the US and 50 million worldwide- and we still have no cure for the influenza virus which still kills people!

Then there was Hershel's story of how when AIDs came along people in town freaked out over the kid who caught it. He told of how they wanted to keep their children away from him, explaining that people always claim that this one (meaning this disease) is different, and that we always bounce back.

So um...does Hershel know we have no cure for the AIDs virus? That it kills about 5,000 and about 7,200 people become infected worldwide every day? He's so sure we'll come up with the cure for the disease that turns people into the walking dead that mindlessly search for and consume the flesh of the living when, not only do we no longer have the scientists and epidemiologists or labs and equipment, but when we did have those things we weren't even able to find a cure for the f%&#ing flu!

Plus he's old! He'll be checking out sooner rather than later anyway so why should he sweat it? His daughters are now trapped at home and forced to spend all their time with the family- other than his wife biting it this is probably what he considers a perfect way for him to spend the rest of his remaining days! It's everyone else who's screwed- particularly Carl and Sophia. Assuming of course, that they aren't dead or soon will be.

The episode ended with Shane and Otis having rounded up the supplies Hershel said he needed to perform the surgery to save Carl but trapped behind a precarious-looking metal gate with hundreds of walkers on the other side straining to get at them.

I blame this on poor planning.

They should've used something to leave the door open a crack so that they could scope out the situation before making a run for it out of that trailer. And flares? Seriously? They weren't even used a reasonable distance away! At least put them far enough away from the door so that when the walkers go to investigate it takes time for them to get there and back! I would've gone for what Glenn and Rick did and used a police car with its lights and siren. Rig the wheel and the gas pedal then send it off (slowly) sirens and lights blaring in a far-away direction! Let the walkers chase that for a bit! Now they're screwed and heading inside the building, which is away from safety. I thought Shane was supposed to be all tactically smart and stuff?
Epic Fail Shane.

Well this Sunday I'm hoping we get some answers to the questions we were left with; how will Shane and Otis escape, will Carl get his surgery, what will happen when the others arrive at Hershel's farm, is Sophia still alive and out in the woods somewhere, and is that forest running low on deer? Because it makes zero sense for a guy to be that husky at the end of the world when everyone else is starving with bones showing through their skin! It's like that one guy on the island in LOST- what the Hell is up with that??


More Season 2 Episode 2 Stills

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Along with the usual pictures from this week I'm also throwing in a few teaser pics from episode three for your enjoyment.
You're welcome.


Season 2 Episode 3 Stills

Until next week, folks!

Avoid the Clap,
-Dianthrax

Source: Photos- AMCNetworks.com Press Resource Center/AMC's The Walking Dead Season 02 episode 02, (1) Press Release via AMC: SECOND SEASON CONTINUES INTO A THIRD... (2) Press Release via AMC:THE WALKING DEAD: NOW THE MOST WATCHED DRAMA IN BASIC CABLE HISTORY




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