28
Oct
11

Talking Walking Dead, Episode 2

Welcome to Extended Play’s weekly roundtable chat for AMC’s The Walking Dead. As usual, I’m joined by Heather from The Electronic Shrug and Jenn from the Pretty Little Losers podcast.

Mark: We kick off the episode with a flashback to Shane breaking the news to Lori that Rick’s been shot. It’s an interesting scene for a few reasons: Lori’s dishing to somebody about how rocky her marriage is and it shows that Shane’s never been able to connect with Carl; he removed himself from dealing the kid. When I think back to the last episode, maybe there’s a little more going on there than I thought.

Jenn: Do you remember in the first few episodes last season I predicted that they were going to make Lori and Shane’s affair something that had happened pre-zombies? Because I totally got that vibe again here. She’s talking to her friend about her marriage falling apart and not being sure if she loves Rick, Shane pops up, they look distraught (or guilty).

This is going to be the big reveal when Rick finally finds out about them. Shane will be all “whatever man, screw you, I was there for your family when you weren’t” then Rick will be all “I was in a coma!” and Shane will go “that’s not what I meant!” and the penny will drop and everyone will turn to Lori and she will look away, ashamed, and Rick will brood. Hard.

Damn I could write this show! Next time they fire all the writers I should submit my resume.

Well, Rick, my mother was a fish

Heather: They’re totally doing naughty things at this point during the flash-back. Probably have been for a while. A woman doesn’t talk or think like that unless her attention is elsewhere and it became quite apparent as soon as Shane showed up that her attention was on him. I hope Lori gets a nice hard slap from someone. I don’t care who. She deserves it. Slappity-slap!

Mark: Later, Rick, Shane and a fat man we’ll find out later is named Otis running through the forest to a doctor’s house (who we find out later is not that kind of doctor; more on that later). They get to this idyllic house in the woods and thanks to some old, old school doctorin’, Carl’s life is saved. And there’s a whole new slew of people to meet, too: Otis, Hershel the doctor, a girl I think named Maggie and some other people whose names escape me. Always cool to see fresh blood in this show and they provided some of the better moments in this episode. We also see Crew Two, who are arguing about a gunshot and decide to keep wandering around in the woods, like that’s going to solve anything. Spoiler: it doesn’t.

Back on the highway, T-Dogg is sick, getting high and acting crazy. Was it last week I was saying I want to see more of him? I liked this: he’s scared too and it only comes out after he smokes up + does pills. Rick is all messed up over his son being shot and is a huge trainwreck: it’s cool to see Shane stepping up and taking control. Everybody’s starting to crack up, which is fun to see for a few episodes. For me, it’s cooler to see how Shane and RIck interact. I think Shane’s quickly becoming the Pete Campbell or Kate Austen of this series: somebody you love to hate but would hate to see go. The bro hug rules, too.

Jenn: I do love to hate Pete Campbell, but Shane is much more Kate Austen in that he needs to die and I will complain about his existence for every episode of this show. I feel like they wrote Shane so unevenly before that I can’t buy him stepping up to the plate and being a good friend here. Like, you nailed this dude’s wife and went a little crazy and thought about shooting him, and since then you’ve just been weird and angry and not talking to anyone, oh but now you’re his bff and will do anything to save his kid and help keep that family together?

Things in Yoknapatawpha County seem less than idyllic these days

I guess the guilt is getting to him but I just am not convinced by his actions. Nothing he does makes sense to me. Especially living. It makes no sense to me that Shane is still living.

Heather: I’m with Jenn on the whole why is Shane alive deal, but at the same time I was trying to look at it from a set of eyes that have not read the comic books this time (because they’re going to continuously tease the hell out of me by vaguely following the storyline in the books, so instead of losing my cool regarding this every episode I’m going to lose my cool over other things every episode).

I was left feeling kind of funny after this episode. Part of me felt a tiny bit better about Shane, but still wanted to smother him into the ground. Watching Rick & Shane talk is thrilling for me. Just waiting for the moment for Rick to say “by the way, I know you were banging my wife, nerdlinger” and watch the tension unravel and grow at an explosive rate.

Mark: Speaking of Shane, are he and Otis fucked? Maybe somebody should have kept watch?

Jenn: They had to create a huge diversion to sneak past the zombies on their way into the trailer, but thought they could just open the door and stroll out? Morons.

Heather: I want Otis to make it.

Mark: One thing I kept thinking throughout this episode: it doesn’t handle the drama too well (still not a great scripted show), but it handles the action stuff pretty good. I keep making notes like “Damn some Sleepy Hallow shit, cool” when I watch this. It’s not a great show, but it’s great fun to watch. A blog I read made a good point about this: yes you care later about details like the zombies not smelling people (when they totally did earlier) but when you’re watching? It rules.

Jenn: As evidenced by my twitter feed, I definitely do notice those things during the episode and it does drive me crazy. I might have a more critical eye than the average viewer though.

Heather: You’re right, Mark. It is fun to watch. I’m like – half Mark and half Jenn here. I hate it. I love it. I hate to love it, but most of all – I love to hate it.

Mark: A couple of quick notes:

  • Remember in the last episode, how Dale was saying not everybody should have a gun? And then Carl takes a hit? MHMMMMMM.
  • I’m digging how funny this episode was. I wasn’t expecting any humor from it at all, but lines like “Merle gets the clap sometimes” or “We can talk about this until next Sunday” made me laugh
  • I think it’s worth noting the show does gruesome well. I’m thinking especially of the operating-sans-painkiller scene in particular.
  • The little girl is dead, isn’t she?

Heather: I hope so.

Jenn: If that little girl has somehow survived on her own for two days and not made it back to camp, I will give up on this show. (please note, the show will have to get a lot worse before I actually give up. I made it to season three of Heroes).

Mark: Did either of you catch the blue meth?

Jenn: I didn’t catch the blue meth but I heard it was an intentional nod to Breaking Bad, which is cool. Although at the same time, confusing because Breaking Bad is set in present day and there are no zombies so does The Walking Dead exist at a certain point in the future, after Breaking Bad has finished, but not too far in that they could have still bought blue meth from Jesse and Walt? Also, how good is that meth if they went all the way to Albuquerque to Atlanta for it? (please note, this scene really does not require as much thought as I’ve put into it).

Heather: You just made my brain mush.

Jenn: I actually didn’t hate this episode. It was far from perfect, believe me, but I can see that they’re trying to get onto the right track. There’s still a while to go, and who knows if they’ll even get there or just derail again into stopping for a chat at the CDC or a zombie autopsy, but I’m starting to see potential.

Heather: I love you guys. Until next week!

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