THE WALKING DEAD “Nebraska” Review

Can’t we just watch Andrea bash in heads with as scythe for 45 minutes?

Within the following I will recap and discuss the latest episode of The Walking Dead with the cynical tone and unbelieving eyes it deserves. Some television shows are allowed to be faulted, and still succeed whether in plot, ratings, or character development but Walking Dead isn’t showing any positive life signs in my opinion. Not about to quit on it but just because a television show boasts a living-dead body count doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend it doesn’t need a solid plot, character choices, and all around working show design. I do not think this show has EVER found its footing and rather than trying to build one it is moving forward every week with a seemingly new voice moving it forward. I am stricken that the writers involved barely know where they want anything to go and rather than work on KNOWN plotlines from the comic book it is picking odd snail based plot devices to further their own agenda – which would be fine if they all had the same interesting agenda instead of endless snooze arguments and bad acting.

We begin exactly where we left off – with Rick shooting the zombifiedSophia as they discover to their horror and to the audiences horror that little Sophia has been under their noses the entire beginning of the season. It was a great little twist, but considering the amount of time they took to build to it in this day and age of snap-bang-boom television it was a bit of a bore. It was almost as gratifying as it was sad considering that our hick-apocalypse gang can move on now… right? RIGHT?!

Hershel is rightfully disgusted and drowning in his own shocked sadness at seeing what remains of his family gunned down by the people he was helping (by the grace of god). As he emotionally put his (now very late) wives belonging away he stumbles onto his old best friend: Flasky. This is where my imagination makes up a spin off where Hershel gets drunk and does Evil Dead Ash impression to everyone but instead we get one of the better scenes this series has produced as of late. Hershel wants everyone gone, so what does a drunken Hershel do: Gets the fuck out of Dodge and hits up his favorite watering hole. (I hate talking in these faux folksy terms but that is all this show does).

The next course of action surprised no one but Laurie who doesn’t seem to really even know who her husband essentially is or does and completely hates it. Don’t worry dear audience; alas she didn’t in the comic book either. Laurie’s character is essentially everything horrible and annoying about negative female stereotypes out there in comics, TV, and movies. She is a lifetime movie star, who doesn’t deserve a lifetime movie. Laurie, the queen of bad arguments, bad decisions, and non-helper to all disagrees with Rick’s quick decision to seek out Hershel who has gone missing from his farm. To prompt this along, one of Hershel’s daughters seems to be entering an intense state of traumatic shock – which seems to be affecting her like a phantom zombie bite. My question is how is no one reacting like she could be infected? She was very much cuddling with her dead-mama minutes beforehand. Why are we assuming atypical female reaction to this sort of thing? How wasn’t Laurie searching this girl’s body for scratch marks? For a bunch of end-of-worlders, they lack common sense and logic and are jumping straight to intense overreaction.

Rick makes it into town with the ever lovable Glenn in tow. I am surprised they didn’t have them walk there with Rick using Glenn as bait the whole way just because “it works”.  They have a half-decent conversation in the car on the way over which I’d talk about in detail if it were truly important. They make it to Hershel’s old favorite bar no problem, and proceed to have some lovely dialogue with a drunk Hershel.  It’s a legit Saloon by the way so we shouldn’t have been surprised that this scene ended in a shootout of sorts. But, I am getting ahead of myself. This scene held some of the better dialogue this show has produced in a while as Rick is arguing that despite all the zombie-violence and harsh decisions there is still hope for humanity.  As this scene plays with cut in with footage of our other players we actually feel the tension slowly build which led me to believe they were about to be attacked by some “Walkers” (which I sort of hate when they say it). Like shut up, everyone sees the nightmare humanity is becoming do really need to refer to the legit WALKING DEAD as WALKERS? Anyway, the Saloon scene took a surprise curve into better territory as Rene from True Blood, and a chubby gun toting Dom DeLuise lookalike stepped in off the street like a fresh breath of zombie air. There characters are actually names Dave and Tony but all you have to know is they seemed to be streetwise, smart, and not southern so obviously Rick knew something wasn’t right, right away.

Back at the farm, or the set for season 2, Dale tells Lori (irrationally) that Shane is a killer and will probably kill again which makes me hope that Dale is the one killed off already. If they make this characters have the prominence he carries in the book I will be so mad. When a good character pisses you off, you are supposed to love them more for being so real and playing of your actual emotions. This character makes pointless “old man” decisions, opens his mouth when he shouldn’t, and stays silent when he should talk. UTTERLY POINTLESS. Trust me, I do not want to hate Dale but he is making it impossible.  Daryl, forever the audience’s closest friend, gets just as mad at we did over the Sophia debacle. He put his redneck heart and soul into finding this little girl only to get this sort of ending? We get it Daryl, Don’t worry in the real world we’d all see your worth by now, but instead you are stuck with these ungrateful humanity suckers like effing Laurie. Carol is in deep mourning which is actually very emotional punching in this television of woe. Is she going to rise after this, get some of her strength back (that I’m assuming her now long dead husband took from her?) or is she going to fall deeper into despair collecting Zombie ears and trying to decide if she wants a piece of Daryl sexual cake? Or will she go the way of her comic book counterpart (COMIC SPOILER) garnishing herself before serving herself to some hungry zombies? T-Dawg is busy still having a horrible offensive name. His best tour in front of the camera this season was his face stomping a zombie last night other than that he is stuck in horrible plot land. Andrea is welding weapons, killing walkers, and handling undead limbs with the ease of a Veteran Zombie killer (which was probably my favorite part of this entire episode). Helping everyone move some zombies to go burn she tosses a loose arm into the back of a pickup truck she is riding in as well and her reaction so utterly normal – its priceless.  Shane, who had slowly become one of the better characters (probably because of his blatantly better acting chops) filled with tumultuous faults has fallen into scary hobo territory as the writers are slowly ruining him with false passions, insane notions, and too many nervous breakdowns. Next up he’ll be wearing funny hats, and developing a nonsensical medication problem.

Laurie as always is making poor decisions, letting her emotions rule her, and overacting to everything around her severally making it harder and harder to feel absolutely anything for her? I’d love if I just hated this character but instead I’m stricken with a hope that her character severally killed, pushing Rick into better character territory but instead we get Laurie, who looks like she almost shot herself in the face when she checked her gun in this episode. Aren’t you a cop’s SOUTHERNASS wife? Can’t someone show you have to check if your gun is loaded without almost unloading it in your own face? Seemingly not.  As Laurie just gets over Rick being “a good man” and the “leader” the all need by going out in search of Hershel, she essentially follows after him like a dumb puppy. This isn’t Lost though and she is not Kate so it becomes known as one of the worst decisions ever made on this show… which is pretty bad considering this shows title should be The Walking Dead and Humans Making Stupid Choices.     What could she do that is so bad you ask? After she almost shots herself in the face, she gets in a car and proceeds to go out in search of Rick and/or Hershel on the pretext of finding Hershel to come back and help his now catatonic daughter… Which is exactly what she got pissed at Rick for doing. This also is completely stupid as not only is she doing the same thing she thought was stupid, she is doing it alone even though Rick is already out doing it. Are we just pretending she forgot about the nation occupied by Zombies? As she drives, she of course stops paying attention to the road and tried texting Rick. I am kidding. LOL But she might as well have, as she looks down at a map – – – – WAIT! Why does she need said map? So not only is Laurie endangering herself, a potential vehicle, and most likely Rick’s sanity she also really has no clue where she is going. Who can truly think this shit through and still insist this show is fine? It is were more a bloodbath I would take this choices in stride but it’s not and AMC usually seems to want to air actual GOOD dramas and not silly shows with no purpose or direction.  Want to know what this plot point actually mirrors? Gossip Girl. That CW glittery angsty drama is over the top theatrics therefore them using a car accident as a plot device for miscarriages, and cheating on spouses seems totally in character awesome. This is the Walking Dead however so as soon as Laurie is on the road, she stupid checks the map and proceeded to slam full speed into a walker who is standing in the middle of the road. Is this commentary on women driving? Like how is this woman so ridiculously bad at this whole thing? So of course instead of slowing down, or veering away from the side of the road Laurie speeds up, veers off-road, and proceeds to crash and flip the car spectacularly. I am so disappointed here. If this was merely so the writers could put her in peril I am so mad – why would you do this on a zombie show? Want peril? Have a god forsaken zombie actually wonder out of the forest. You don’t need to have your lead female PREGNANT character get into a major car wreck! This isn’t good drama – it is completely predictable drama happening illogically in the universe where everything should be interesting. If this whole thing ends with having a huge manhunt for a missing Laurie without checking the barn first, I’ll choke on my own tongue.

Back to one of the scenes hinting at better writing, at the Dumbhicksville saloon, between drunk Hershel, hopeful Rick, happy go lucky Glenn, and the two new talkative stranger/friends we get some of the better acting and dialogue available in this episode as well as Rick making some tough decisions – though upon further reflection this scene was like a cheap tease. Reminiscent of the Star Wars “Who Shoot First” argument, had Rick make some intense hard choices as he brutally shoots the two strangers who were showing him as much tension as he was showing them. Glenn and Hershel’s naivety sort of astounds me though – Didn’t Hershel just come to the conclusion he was acting like a fool? Why does Glenn have to essentially be bad at this except for you know – running for his life? Rick, sensing their trouble they most likely would bring, even before one of them peed on the floor, silenced these folks for good. Even the chubby one who peed on the floor got double tapped. Rick why on earth do you want to save ammo, and create less noise with your gun whenever it will slow you down but times like these you’re just shooting mofosover and over? I was so sad to see Rene go so soon – just when I felt the talent level on this show rising.

Why is this show STILL not where we want it? Even now as we enter further into the “no more frank D” territory it is still doing the opposite of what is wanted, rather needed, for this show to essentially not suck. The pacing if anything gets worse every episode as the plot is blatantly struggling to be taken seriously. This whole thing should not be hard. How many horror movies succeed with just zombies and a couple of guns? The new show runner appears to not be quite sure what the hell to expect either. Can’t we just watch Andrea bash in heads with as scythe for 45 minutes? I would be so much more interesting in that. After seemingly realizing their dismal pacing, and horrible focus on little Sophia for far too long this show did the only sensible thing: It did one more episode of nothing by talking about Sophia, slow plot development, non-movement for most characters, and Laurie apparently getting her very own second huge plotline.

POSITIVES:
Andrea is getting more comfortable with her badassery. More her and less pregnant bitchy Laurie please!
Carl knows how to come off as both adorable and completely sociopathic which is pretty much amazing. Please give this kid more to do than be held by his mother and look at pretty deer.
Everyone seems as sick as me of Dale’s moral righteousness. In the Comic his morality was what made him fit the group, now he’s just a busy body old man peeping at you from his RV windows, judging.
Daryl, the epic survivalist, did what I wish I could do: Scream at Laurie.
The entrance of Rene and Fat boy really marked a change in the whole feel of the television show even though they are both fatally dead now hopefully their entrance has improved the lot for this show. This scene is also a perfect example of real slow burn tension. It didn’t last 45 minutes, and it had actual conclusions and decisions made. Lovely. It was so sad to see Rene go so soon. He already was 10 times more interesting than most of the people on the farm. However, Rick’s quick thinking and sleek thinking have made him a worthy leader this week. Hopefully it will only go up from here.

Characters Who Win:
Andrea for her Scythe and touching of limbs
T-Dawg for his vicious but lovely head stomping of someone’s mother
Daryl for being the only character who probably could survive better on his own but instead he’s stuck getting his hillbilly soul sucked by these leeches.
Rick for his (first) shooting and lack of silly trust.

Honorable Mention:
Shane washing Carols hands. I’m sure this was meant an almost religious cleansing but in general I thought it said a lot about Shane who Dale is still insisting is a psychopath. Him and his meticulous care for Carols torn dirty bloody hands.
Usually I love Glenn and by default Maggie but dude was the only character still trying to convince the audience at how important Sophia was to them – Which I don’t buy in the slightest.

-Sagebeth

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~ by ATOM on February 14, 2012.

One Response to “THE WALKING DEAD “Nebraska” Review”

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