After last week’s mid-season return, the talk that The Walking Dead moves too slow can be put to rest. That trademark crescendo of tension came back as Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Glenn (Steve Yeun), and Hershel (Scott Wilson) met some undesirables at a bar. Meanwhile tempers are flaring back at the farmhouse as Daryl (Norman Reedus) is detaching from the group, and Shane (Jon Bernthal) is not making any new friends. This week, AMC hopes to build on its cable TV record-setting 10.1 million viewing audience by keeping the foot on the pedal.
“Triggerfinger” powers viewers back to action as Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) fought off two walkers, successfully, and I’m wagering this struggle was the first Lori-centric scene to draw cheers, but were they rooting for the walkers or Lori? She has been a much-maligned character throughout the series, but Callies, had a Lady Macbeth moment, whispering into Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) ear about how Shane has gone off the deep end and become a threat within the camp.
And that’s when it set in. We haven’t seen this look on Rick, that one of evil intent. Oh wait, we saw it in the bar when he gunned down Dave and Tony. This is the moment that many fans have waited for. There’s no law in this world but Rick finally has motive to go after his buddy. If these seeds that were planted into Rick’s mind blossom by the end of the season, we may be looking at a real conflict going down between Shane and Rick.
Maybe for all of his meddling, Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) finally reached the right person. He played Lori perfectly by dropping hints about Shane’s questionable motives. Lori’s playing this for keeps now. Dale certainly spun it in his direction and Lori has worked it perfectly into Rick’s mind. Perhaps the old man knew all along how to play it. Maybe reading in that camper did him some good, especially if he was reading Othello or some other Shakespearean tragedy. Now it just has to fester, twist and turn inside there. Think about it, Rick isn’t just killing walkers anymore. He’s killing people to protect his people.
By killing Dave and Tony, he had to make a commitment to kill anyone else rolling with those two corpses. That’s a big leap for Rick, since he tried to maintain some shadow of the law in season one. It was one thing when he was shooting zombies in the head, but now he’s not thinking twice to kill healthy humans if they prove not to be friendly, well just how predictable is he now? If there were 20 people outside to get Dave and Tony, Rick would have been willing to kill every single one of them. Living or dead, friendly or just desperate, Cowboy Rick is loose and he wants to stay in the farmhouse for as long as possible. Hershel and Glenn saw it, and don’t think that went unnoticed.
It was foolish to think an old man on a farm doesn’t know his way around a gun. So the initial reaction was pure shock that Hershel connected with the guy that shot at Glenn. I was so surprised that it didn’t occur to me that the poor sap’s screaming would call in the walkers by the herds. If you’ve been starving for some gore, you got it tonight. Last week may have been Hershel’s sobering moment, and now Hershel believes in Rick.
Andrea (Laurie Holden) doesn’t subscribe to this thinking. She believes that Shane has done many things to protect the camp and she would be correct in thinking that. Shane protected Carol from another beating from her husband; he minimized deaths in the camp when the walkers attacked with Amy being the one casualty of consequence. Shane got the supplies Carl (Chandler Riggs) needed for his operation (at Otis’ expense) but we all feel like he has some other motives. Shane’s questionable methods work in this world and yes, he hasn’t been the same since Otis died, but that’s the same night he realized that rules are being rewritten everyday. What Andrea doesn’t know is how invested Shane is with Lori.
The camera held still on Andrea for a moment. She knew that Shane and Lori had a heart-to-heart the night before. She knows they had an affair. Was this just a man scorned by rejection and Rick’s return? How attached is he to the baby that’s growing inside Lori? Does he really care for Lori and Carl so much that he’d harm Rick? If he goes away with her, would he just project his feelings for Lori onto her? Andrea must be processing this information and knows if he doesn’t get far away from Lori and Rick, this is setting the table for big fireworks at the end of the season.
Rick obviously has a great deal of support from viewers, but it’s hard to be sympathetic to Lori. Now Shane, as dangerous as he is, how much of that is perception from Dale and Lori, versus what’s needed to survive in this world? Is Andrea right to choose Shane, and if she is, will others see it? This divide plays the audience against their desires. They want to root for and hate someone on each side and it will be difficult to patch this open sore. I’ll add one other piece of food for thought; Andrea’s deadly accuracy could swing the tide and then there’s Daryl. The survivors continue to drift further and further apart, and the oil is beginning to separate from the water.
More Rotten Thoughts
• Someone in the writers’ room has to come up with a better role for T-Dog. Everybody had something to do except for him. His big moment in Triggerfinger? “Who the hell is that?” That’s become his shtick, the one-line-an-episode bruiser. Let’s have Irone Singleton do… something: Align with Shane, punch Dale in the face, slap some sense into Carol (Melissa McBride), fatten up the chickens on the farm, hell I don’t care, but he has to be given more to do in this ensemble than giving us a token line. I’d rather T-Dog get eaten by walkers than suffer along as the background guy.
• I hoped that Rick, Hershel and Glenn would have just left Randall to die. I know we want some separation between our survivors and those that ran with Dave and Tony, but it made sense to leave Randall to be walker food. He sat up top of the bar to shoot at anyone who walked out. He was stupid enough to jump off and get skewered by the fence. Randall was a threat as much as the rest of them. How amputating his leg, healing him and sending him on his way is helping him, I do not know.
• Maggie didn’t even greet her father when they returned, running over to greet and hug Glenn. Maggie’s reaction to smelling alcohol on his father has me wondering about his history with liquor and guns. He admitted to Rick that he does know how to shoot, he just doesn’t like to do it. Could the two be connected?
• When Carl asked his mother if she has a girl, could they name her Sophia, I was hoping for T-Dog to come into frame and start stomping on his head.
• Andrea related to Maggie’s story about Beth but her rolling interest is that she is checking to see if Beth had similar symptoms that Amy exhibited before turning.
• Daryl has been collecting more than just walker ears. One wonders what will be the next thing he hangs around his neck. He also told Carol off, something I’m certain viewers will be happy with, but it’s clear that he was just as affected by Sophia’s turning as she was. Their little spat proved to have cleared the air as we saw at the meeting about Randall.
• Glenn froze up to the point of not being able to help out at the bar. He realized that he loves Maggie back, even though he couldn’t say it. Could Glenn have lost his mojo? When you’re unattached, you’re fearless, willing to do anything without thinking as he’s done. Now he has someone to think about, someone to lose, and that’s made Glenn value his life more, but is he willing to go to the opposite end and kill when pushed to the edge?
Given below is the list of episodes of The Walking Dead Season 2:
Season 2 Episode 1: What Lies Ahead
Season 2 Episode 2: Bloodletting
Season 2 Episode 3: Save the Last One
Season 2 Episode 4: Cherokee Rose
Season 2 Episode 5: Chupacabra
Season 2 Episode 6: Secrets
Season 2 Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already
Season 2 Episode 8: Nebraska
Season 2 Episode 9: Triggerfinger
Follow this Link if you want to watch The Walking Dead Season 1.