Lions to Lambs

Written by  //  February 20, 2012  //  Televised Entertainment in Review  //  15 Comments

The Walking Dead Came Out Swinging Last Night – Only to Fade into a Whisper

Once again, much to the consternation of column bestie Cristina, this week’s The Walking Dead ended with… more talking! Ugh. Getting a little tired of this – I think they should rename the show after the Chris Hardwick hosted gab-fest that comes on afterwards, The Talking Dead – way more apropro lately.

Glenn, Rick and Hershel are still stuck in town after running afoul with a couple dirty, shady rando’s who were trying to figure out where the farm is so they could come and crash the Pity-Party that is Hershel Farm. Rick took things to Clint Eastwood levels and blasted them both and was generally a total badass, which is completely out of character for him given that the bulk of his role seems to be “Look at the others in teary-eyed frustration” mixed in with “Look into the horizon in teary-eyed frustration” – oh don’t you worry, Rick-fans, there was plenty of that too.

Back at the farm, Hershel’s daughter Beth is still catatonic after the most obvious zombie attack ever – did anyone else see this coming a mile away? Shane blasts Hershel’s wife, and as soon as dumb-ass Beth started walking over to her mother, I just sat there counting the seconds in my head before you knew this idiot was going to get jumped – right now we’re not really sure what’s going on – she could be just passed out from the shock of seeing her mom like that, but part of me thinks there’s going to be some kind of “major” plot twist (damn I wish someone would invent the sarcastic quotation mark) and one of them is going to discover some kind of hidden bite mark on her, meaning that they’ve been sitting here feeding a budding Walker intravenously thinking she was still human.

Lori asked Daryl (Sigh… where’s a tree so I can go carve A hearts D on it?) to go after Rick and try to find them in town, but Daryl’s turned into Mister Sassy-Pants ever since he saw Walker-Sophia and realized he almost died for nothing when he repeatedly went out in the woods to search for her – so he told her to fuck off in a more basic-cable-friendly way and Lori decided to set off for herself to look for them. But since this is TWD and every female in this show is completely and utterly inept at even shooting straight much less driving, (A WOMAN driving??!!? You know that’s ending in misery!) she of course runs straight into a Walker, laws of motion-defying/inexplicably flipping her car over in the process.

I won’t spoil it for you by showing it (actually I searched all over for a pic to no avail but we’ll go with me not wanting to spoil it for you, okay?) but we got our one taste of quality makeup effects right in the beginning when we see Lori unconscious in the car – a Walker catches her scent and tries to squeeze its head through the broken glass – fantastically done – I wish I could say that about the rest of the episode, but that one Walker was just stellar – loved it.

Shane comes to Lori’s rescue and tells her Rick and the others are back at the farm and safe so he can get her in the car – for all of Lori’s stupidity and ineptness – I love that she’s at least brave. She may make some pretty foolhardy decisions, but that skinny little lady is a fearless tiger-mom and I like seeing that there are at least one or two women on the show with some guts, shitty driving and shooting skills aside.

While Lori gives Shane the glare-eye for tricking her into coming home instead of trying to rescue Rick – the guys are still trying to get out of town. Those shady-asses that tried to ambush them in the bar had friends, and those friends have arrived to find out what happened to the missing members of their party. Rick tries to reason with them through the barricaded bar doors, but the strangers start blasting away, a shoot-out ensues, and now our guys have to try and contend with all the Walkers who heard the shots and are coming to feed.

I have two things to say about the shoot-out scene – one, it was nice to actually see some action. It was time to see these people fight for what’s theirs, and it was about time we see that our group isn’t the only one in the area. It just seems like common sense that in an apocalyptic world like the one our characters are living in, there has to be rival groups that are going to butt heads and blast each other away trying to defend whatever they’ve got left.

However, that being said – as much as I liked finally seeing more Walkers – I found it disappointing that they chose to film this scene at night, thereby saving a few bucks effects-wise by having the Walkers appear obscured in darkness and focus-trickery. We got a few close-up’s, especially when one of the stranger’s crew got shot by Hershel and was set upon, but hiding them all in shadows makes it easier to skimp on effects, and that didn’t escape me.

I don’t even really know what to say about the rest of it – you’d think that me talking about all this crazy-action means that last night’s episode was a good one – but everything I’ve just told you happened in the first 15-20 minutes (!!!) – what followed was another 30-40 minutes of what now seems to be the usual: over-talking about an issue, couple-drama, crises of self(s), Rick/Shane conflicts, Daryl rotating between sulking and glaring, Dale looking on in disapproval, Andrea wanting to run off guns blazing with Shane, and Carol’s teary-eyed lip quivering. I got so amped when this episode started where we left off with Shane blasting these dude’s and Lori escaping from hungry Walkers I thought “It’s about time!” Only to have my joy dashed upon the rocks of a sea of hemming and hawing. Frustration, you are an understatement.

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About the Author

Alistair Blake Arabella

“Alistair Blake Arabella” is the brainchild of entertainment writer and managing editor Vanessa “2 Fingers” Berben . If you’re missing the latest refill of your Dexedrine prescription, there’s a good a chance Alistair’s in your bathroom and has already crushed it up and snorted it. Now be a good little kitten and fetch her drink. If you’d like to receive the hallowed word of Alistair drop a line to AskAlistair@gmail.com – you just may be in the next episode of “Ask Alistar” if you’re very, very lucky.

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15 Comments on "Lions to Lambs"

  1. Mark in Omaha February 21, 2012 at 11:28 am · Reply

    This will have to be a short response, work and all that. I did appreciate the action, maybe they could have spread it out a little more evenly? Also noticed the very jarring day into night back into day incongruity. Totally agree on lack of a strong female character, but then again, the men aren’t that well written either.

    Now that Kirkman is in charge, do you think he is pulling the direction of the show back into his vision instead of working with what had already been put in place?
    Examples, they had a fairly strong Maggie and Glenn story going, and I really liked Maggie’s character. Now Glenn seems to have dropped several IQ points and I don’t see them being a long-term thing.
    The regression of Daryl back into a back-woods caricature.
    Shane veering straight into crazy-land? Feeling he is not long for this show.
    Making the show more about Rick and less about anything of substance.

    What did you think of Andrea buying into the Shane fantasy? Since they hooked up, shouldn’t she be feeling some jealousy toward Lori?

    What was your take on Lori’s conversation with Rick about Shane? Was she just warning him or was there some manipulation being attempted?

    Am I the only one that was hoping for some nudity when they started taking their clothes off?

    • Alistair February 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm · Reply

      As soon as I saw them starting to strip I was like “Finally! Some action!” Only to bear witness to some weird Shakespearean murder plotting on Lori’s plot – what WAS that?? Totally out of character.
      I’m starting to think that Robert Kirkman at the helm, despite him being the comic author – is ruining this show. Darabont saw the opportunity to turn a really great comic that was centered on one main character into a broader piece for TV. As much as I keep seeing the “Daryl as a main character” carrot dangled in front of me, it’s not looking like that’s going to happen and it’s very much becoming the “Rick Show” which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing… if he didn’t annoy the crap out of me.
      I think the writers are finding a way to write Shane out of the show – I think Bernthal vocally supporting Darabont did him in and now it’s ridiculous how nuts he’s become. I totally thought Andrea was going to come out to Shane and express some kind of jealousy for Lori – it just makes sense, if we’re going with silly soap-opera rules, then if all the guys want one woman, than the other young women would be seething with jealousy.
      I was so disappointed with Glenn! What the hell? She’s just about the last woman on earth and NOW’S the time you’re going to be picky? Getting mad at her because he froze and couldn’t put himself in danger was just dumb. I can only hope that they’re setting them up for the story they have in the comics? Maybe he’ll get upset and leave with the others and change his mind and come back for her? I’m hoping anyway. Okay I’m hoping for a lot!

  2. Mark in Omaha February 22, 2012 at 10:17 am · Reply

    I’ve never read the comics, I stopped reading comic books at 10. I think the source material is a problem and with Kirkman on board he is trying to steer the direction back his way. I think comic books usually make poor movies and are a disaster for a television show.

    When Lori and Rick were talking, my impression was that she was warning him that she thought Shane was becoming unhinged, based on what, I’m not sure. I was reading in another forum (Alan Sepinwall) and they thought she was being manipulitive ala Lady MacBeth. Either I don’t see nuance or don’t expect it from this show.

    After Shane and Andrea hooked up then you would expect Andrea to show some expectation that they were a “couple”. When she was sitting in the room with Lori and Shane was doing his “I want to protect you” thing, Lori should have been seething. Stomped out of the room at the very least. They have a conversation later and she was way too cool with everything.

    If I had been sitting in the truck with Glen (one n or two?) and he started in about “she said she looovvveed meeee” crap I would have given him a dope slap. Attention Glenn, the time for playing the field has passed! She’s hot, smart, and sassy, she likes you, search over.

    All the snark aside, I think the show has shown definite improvement during Season 2.2, not that 2.1 set the bar all that high. I’m hoping they will continue to get better. The dialogue still leaves a lot to be desired. My biggest issue might not be able to be resolved, Kirkman’s “theme” (if that is the right word) is that there is no hope in this new apocolyptic world, the long-term prospects are bleak at best and utter despair at worst. Nihlism doesn’t play well on the small screen.

    • Alistair February 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm · Reply

      Good point – but I think for me the frustration is that Kirkman doesn’t seem to know the answer either – he seems to go between hopeful to desperate – which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t the same characters swinging back and forth between the two – Lori bothers me because she’s an inconsistant character – one episode she’s hopeful for the pregnancy, another she’s not, one she wants Carl to be brave and strong, another she’s upset he’s becoming hardened to this world.
      I thought her seeming like she was plotting against Shane was weird, and out of place – it just didn’t fit.
      As far as Andrea – I think the confusion lies in the show writers failing to let us know exactly what her position is – they hooked up, and then it was like nothing ever happened – she hasn’t made another move for him, and she hasn’t expressed any desire to. It would’ve been good to see her reach these conclusions – just because two people screw, it doesn’t mean that one of them is going to want more from the other, you know? I mean, Andrea could’ve seen Shane as a means to an end in order to get off once or twice, and she has no romantic feelings for him – which is what it seems like is going on – but we can only guess because no one felt it was important enough to let the audience know that, so instead we’re all sitting here wondering what’s going on with them!
      Glenn is lame. I mean – okay – IF his argument had been something like “She said she loved me, and it scares me, because what is love in a world like ours? How can I be a good man and a provider when there’s the potential that she could get killed if she followed me when we leave?” Those, to me, are honorable reasons to keep yourself away from someone who says they love you – but to sit there and act like it’s because you don’t want to settle, or you want to play some weird post-apocalyptic dating field – that’s just messed up and incredibly shallow. And blaming her for him choking up – what the fuck was that all about? Lame.
      These characters are all just suffering from a lack of definement, and lack of consistency – and I’m not sure who to blame – do you blame the writers? Or the actors? Not one of them can raise their hand and say “Wait a minute, this doesnt’ feel right.” ??

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