Feb 202012

“You know you’ve got to go through hell before you get to heaven.” – Steve miller, Jet Airliner

Apparently the writers of Walking Dead decided that we had to follow that thought and go through a few episodes of melodramatic hell to get to this episodes ultimately biblical conclusion. I guess that should be no surprise. When it comes to the post-apocalyptic lately, American television has reverted strongly to biblical representations of men and women (the reboot of Battlestar Galactica being a good example here). And this episode is no exception. The message here: women screw up men, and the love of a woman will turn brother on brother. Yeah. How so. Well, let’s see:

*spoilers warning*

So Rick does pretty much what Shane has been accused of doing. He guns down a pair of drifters looking for a home. Warrented they were a little pushy, but seriously, he guns them down to protect his own. What follows is a sequence worthy of the MTV comedy series Death Valley, where Rick tries to reason with the dead pair’s friends who have suddenly shown up.

Remember when Herschel wondered out loud how Rick and his group managed to survive. Well, luckily the drifters and their friends are morons on a completely different level. The first two try to take on Rick where they are outmanned and out gunned. The others blindly try to shoot their way into revenging the first pair. And a stupid kid who decided to try out being a rooftop sniper jumps down and falls onto a spiky fence as a horde of zombies approach. Really the scene is written as suspenseful, but actually it’s pretty funny.

In the meantime, Lori has gotten herself into a car wreck and has to face a couple of zombies by herself. The main suspense here is that she’s been presented as such a passive fuck-up with no survival skills that it is hard to believe that she’ll survive. But against the odds she does. And once free, she continues to head into town?! This despite being pretty badly knocked around by her experience. Shane shows up to bring her back, but she refuses until he lies to her about Rick et al having returned to camp.

Needless to say, she’s pretty angry at him, and basically gets a confession out of him that he sacrificed Otis to save Carl and continue to protect her. But, of course, instead of trying to be rational with the love triangle, she goes all biblical on Rick later, slithering over him sexily, whispering in his ear that unless he kills Shane, Shane will surely kill him. Wow. Can’t get more biblical, or at least Noir, than that. Still, we can’t have two alpha males battling over the supposed alpha female, can we. (Because, again, Andrea is now pretty much an honorary man.)

In the meantime, Glenn, on return to the Farm, Glenn rejects Maggie, because when the chips were down in town, he was thinking of her, not his buddies. Nope, can’t have a woman getting between him and his male friends. Maggie, of course, now that she is the weak woman girlfriend, turns her teary fury on her father, who is supposed to protect them all, but decided to go out drinking so assuage his guilt and embarrassment. Wow again.

Oh, and there’s a couple scenes where submits herself to a humiliating and brutal tirade by Daryl that will allow him to cleanse himself of the guilt and failure he feels by not being able to find and save little Sophie. ‘Cause, i guess, that’s what a woman is supposed to taek. And, lo, it works, as the next morning, he’s joining the group to look for Rick, Herschel and Glenn.

Man, I hope this is what you were hoping for, because that what we got. Zombies, well, they’re pretty much background noise at this point. Sure their fun at this point for some cheap scares, but the real things to be scared of are, apparently, are The Walking Alive.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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