Talking Walking Dead: Episode Three

Welcome to the third installment of Talking Walking Dead, a weekly email exchange of AMC’s smash-hit, fun-t0-nitpick show about zombies. This week we’re joined by Jenn from the Pretty Little Losers podcast.

Mark: this is going to be a very Shane-heavy installment. Jenn, I’m going to leave a few lines here since I’m sure you have very strong feelings (I do and I don’t even hate the guy like you).

Jenn: Why is he alive, should be shot in the face by carl. I hate him, etc, etc. Nothing new.

Mark: Okay, on with the thing.

First off, the circular way this story was presented isn’t really a step up in the writing quality, but at least they’re trying gimmicks now. For me, stuff like this only works in hindsight, when you realize “oh hey so that why this happened,” but here it was really gimmicky. Was the whole episode a flashback? I suppose it’s a minor gripe, but it’s one I can’t really wrap my head around.

Shane getting a little carried away at the Zombie Occupy Atlanta protest

Jenn: I’m glad they are trying different things in the writing (after enough writers/experiments maybe they’ll finally find something that works) but this episode for sure wasn’t the strongest in that sense. I genuinely think they’re in the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” phase, which isn’t good considering this is the second season.

Mark: Anyway, things at the Doctor’s house are getting intense. Rick can’t keep giving blood BECAUSE HE’LL DIE and him and the wife aren’t handling things too well. Neither of them is in a great mental state for deciding what to do, so of course they keep waiting for Shane and Otis to show up and solve their problems. Eventually the doctor’s hand is forced – just look at that gut, it’s gross and distended as all hell – and Shane shows up in the nick of time.

Before I get into that, a quick question: how long have Shane and Rick known each other? Did they go to high school together? I thought they were just work friends.

Jenn: I think they are supposed to have been long time buddies. Maybe joined the force together, or met in police training and became BFFs? There’s definitely supposed to be a deep bond there,

Mark: Meanwhile, things at the RV are getting intense and Daryl + Andrea go out for a walk in the night. I really liked Daryl in this episode: his story about being lost in the forest was cool (and honestly explains a lot of the character) and the scene with the hanging zombie was one of the better set pieces this season. He’s like a wise mountain man this season; outside of the city, he’s in his element.

Still, the stuff with him and Andrea wasn’t as big a deal as I feel it should have been. It’s probably supposed to be a big deal when a character decides they don’t want to die (or at least stop waffling so damn much), but I’ve checked out in that regard. I don’t really care and I assume she’s going to have some big moment where she nearly dies and decides she wants to live and dies or something. I suppose her gun is supposed to symbolize something, but hell if I can figure out what.

"Whatchu talkin bout... no, that's not it. You lookin at me? No, that's not it either..."

Jenn: I really don’t like what they’ve been doing with Andrea. Do they really need to make her a whiny, indecisive weakling? Don’t we basically already have that in Carol? In the comics she’s pretty cool and tough and useful, I hope once they finally make her get her shit together she starts transforming into this.

Mark: Okay, over to Shane. Him and Otis made an implasuable getaway, right from the getgo (Otis is supposed to outrun a bunch of things he couldn’t last episode? Shane can walk away from a 30 foot fall? So can this fragile surgical equipment?). Later, Otis shot a zombie right in Shane’s face (guess he has bad trigger control) but somehow a bullet that went through a deer doesn’t go through a human head.

Jenn: Continuity? What’s that?

Mark: And finally, Shane kind of goes crazy. The whole chase, he gradually gets this haunted look, like he’s in Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now or Taxi Driver and he finally goes full heel, shooting Otis in the knee, then smashing his face in with a gun (a fight that seems to take so long it doesn’t seem like they were really in danger) and making off with all the supplies.

First things first: was it a revenge thing for shooting the kid? Is Shane the kind of person who acts but doesn’t say things? Remember, he’s been distant from the kid and wasn’t a big fan of Otis. I’m kind of leaning towards this over an act of pure survival.

Jenn: I think they are working the “Shane is losing his mind so that one day we can FINALLY kill him off even though it happened so much earlier in the books and didn’t need this stupid drawn out melodramatic bullshit” but without fully thinking through his motivation.

They know he has to start to lose it, so they’re just making him give the crazy face and act violent. I mean, there are reasons why he did it, of course, but I feel like the main reason they were trying to push was because Shane’s getting all Lord of the Flies on us. For example, he could have shot Otis in the head and killed him to save him the suffering. The zombies still stop and eat him, he gets the supplies and runs, everyone wins. But he didn’t, because… he’s a bad person?

Side note: I agree that this is one of those scenes that pulls you out of the action. I mean the zombies were so close, everything was so urgent, and yet they can have like a four minute showdown? Could have just spent that time running…

Hey, we're the only visible minorities left in Rick's posse. Let us stay stay in your spacious country home in the American South

Mark: And even then, it’s still the most human thing I’ve seen on the show maybe ever. We could argue over the ethics of stuff like this all day, but it’s cool they actually made a character do something either vengeful or based in an “I don’t want to die” mindset. Shane’s losing it, but to me, that makes him the most human character on a show about dead people.

Jenn: I just don’t think this was enough to justify keeping him alive. He should have, realistically, died in like the fourth episode, but it takes about 13 episodes for him to finally do something? It just sucks because a lot of cool things happen in the comics (yes this argument again, I will not let go) that have been sacrificed for new TV storylines that don’t really do anything.

Mark: A few loose notes:

  • How much do you want to bet on the last shot, the director told Shane “okay your motivation is: look evil. And action!”
  • Glenn and that girl (the doctor’s daughter? I’m not completely sure) are going to get it on, aren’t they? And the good doctor’s gunna turn out to be racist, isn’t he?
  • What was this week’s Otis Memorial Idea that sounded cool as hell on paper but didn’t really work? The zombie popping out of a window and somehow not biting Shane’s exposed face/hands/anything is my pick
  • The call-in show is cool as hell and pretty much this, but with C-list personalities. HEY NAPOLEON PASS ME SOME ZOMBIE TOTS

Jenn: “idea that sounded cool on paper but didn’t really work’? Like making The Walking Dead a TV show? HEY-O!

As always, pics courtesy http://itsthewalkingdead.tumblr.com/ 




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