So the Misses and I finally sat down with some grub and decided to watch the first episode of the ‘second half’ of season 2 of The Walking Dead.
…and seven frustrated minutes later we shut the damn thing off.
So the Misses and I finally sat down with some grub and decided to watch the first episode of the ‘second half’ of season 2 of The Walking Dead.
…and seven frustrated minutes later we shut the damn thing off.
The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 3
“Save the Last One“
While it wasn’t as bad as the first episode, I think this one was just “okay.” Similarly to “Bloodletting” last week; it had room for improvement. The flow was still fairly brisk, but that was only because the setting jumped from one group to the next. People even broke up into smaller groups this time around to aid with that, but still I think very little actually happened. And what did happen wasn’t a big deal. I’ll get to why I think that is in a bit, but first I’ll give the busy person’s play-by-play.
Yet another shower scene of Shane. If you include the bottled water bit at the start of this season, that makes it the third. He is shaving his head and has a crazy look in his eye. Oy. Looks like they want to bring the ‘Crazy Shane’ of last season back >.> Bad way to start this off, in my opinion. To put it in polite terms, ’Crazy Shane’ wasn’t the high-point of the first season by any means as he was about as consistent as runny egg yolk. But according to a certain red-head on the third episode of the Talking Dead, he’s hot. So who cares, right? (More on that double standard in tomorrow’s post.)
Carl is getting worse to the point of having seizures and Rick is just about out of cherry koolaid. He, Lori, Hershal and his crew are waiting on Shane and Otis, but Lori wonders if Carl would be better off dying in his sleep instead of surviving. This monologue gets a bit long, but at least Rick is finally acting like his last season self. Lori made him eat up a scene before it, so I guess all it takes is a sandwich to bulk up on confidence and assertiveness. If he downs something from a glass vial labeled “Drink Me” will he shrink down, too? XD
Glenn and T-Dog appear during all this, and I was honestly not sure if they would still show up after Derle gave the ailing T-Dog some much-needed meds. They show their support but ultimately disappear for most of the episode as the other duo’s took center stage.
Carol is still a pointless character, but this time around her wailing in the back of the RV paired with Andrea’s incessant tinkering with a loaded weapon (that nearly got her killed in episode one) drives Derle to leave under the guise of looking for the missing girl. Good man. Andrea tags along and they happen upon a zombie hanging from a tree. Andrea feels for the starving zombie, and pleads Derle to shoot him and end his misery. He first nixes the idea, but Andrea answers a question of his, stating she still isn’t sure about if she wants to live or is merely doing so as a habit. Derle still thinks it is a bad answer and a waste of an arrow, but ends the tree zombies ‘life’ anyway.
Dale sets out on his own, but they don’t really say why he opted to walk quite a distance down the road without a flashlight. Either way, he returns to see Andrea and Derle make their way back. While he is happy at the sight, Carol starts crying about not seeing the daughter and dives back into the van. Because it isn’t good enough that they came back safe during an ill-thought search at night. For HER!
If only she had stolen two grenades from Rick so she could swallow one now.
Shane and Otis appear in the school. It isn’t explained how they got in, nor how zombies are less than fifteen feet behind them the entire time. They end up momentarily parting ways and distracting zombies from one another, but in the end Shane injures his foot, falls, and gives up. He tells Otis to leave him behind, but Otis refuses to do so. We’ll get back to this in a sec.
Shane makes it back in time to help Carl who is now stable, but Otis has fallen. Rick breaks the news of the post-mortem Otis with Hershal and Maggie appears to have a thing for Glenn. Nothing physical happens, but it certainly came across to me that Maggie was a wee bit flirty with him. During this, Lori returns to Carl who is sleeping and Shane steps in. Lori says he can stay, and whether she ment in the room or in the group is up for debate. Either way Shane gets clothes from a rather disgruntled Maggie, stating they might be big on him as it was Otis’s attire. We are then once again back with Shane in the shower. Two shower scenes in one episode. New record >.<
Remember when Shane gave up and Otis forced him to carry on? Sadly, Shane didn’t pay it forward and instead shoots Otis in the leg, using him as a distraction. Otis does not go down without a fight and even when getting bludgeoned with a pipe (or something similar) is able to rip off a clump of Shane’s hair. Shane manages to take the supplies Otis was carrying just before the zombies eat him alive, in gory detail. I’m sure that bit unsettled the majority of the fans at home for better or worse ^_^ Anyway, Shane is seen shaving off his hair in an effort to hide the damage that the late Otis inflicted unto him and the credits roll.
All in all, decent episode. Some twists, slight boring bits, some action and some dialog. Nice over-all mix, but eh… there is one thing nagging me. It isn’t a deal breaker, but it could be in future episodes.
While the episode was far from bad, it wasn’t great. There is plenty for people to claim and cite as awesome, and I can even provide a list for ‘em. Hordes of zombies, guns that were actually fired, Derle venturing out at night and also firing off a bolt Rambo-style, a gory death scene with close-ups, some plot and character developement, an actual human finally died which was a first this season, and while it isn’t a high point by my standards I know a lotta ladies and a few guys probably enjoyed seeing Shane’s buff physique in the shower. (Again, more on that tomorrow >.>)
The problem that undermines the whole thing is that I was not emotionally invested. I had zero attachment to anyone involved. I didn’t care about Shane’s plight as I knew Carl was important to the story (for some still unknown reason) so he was safe. Otis was not as he was a new addition an episode ago. Add in the “Crazy Shane” intro and you can fill in the rest of the blanks yourself. I do not want this to appear as if the issue is tied to a lack of surprise, as even though I knew more or less what was going to unfold, I did not yet know how. That “How?” is where the crew should have stepped up and made the audience give a darn about people making it away safe and intact.
I’ll even give them credit that they tried to do that, but it didn’t quite work. Carl flailing around on the bed was supposed to be a heart-tugging and raw scene. Instead it was a child that was instructed to flop around for two long minutes in front of the camera. It stunk of “Emmy Award Reel” too much for me to believe it was actually happening. Instead of intrigue I was left with reality; a child actor trying really hard to look like he was spasming or just dancing very badly. I give the kid credit, though. If the scene was cut down to moderate levels and the emphasis and music was not so bombastic and so dominant it might have actually left room for me to care at all instead of them trying to force it on me :/
One final thing that bothered me to the point of getting me angered was during the Talking Dead preview of next week’s episode. If you want to stay completely out of the know, feel free to divert thine eyes now.
So, the group is now at the farm and for some reason they are lowering Glenn down a well. There is a bloated zombie down there, and they all know about it. Suddenly the crank holding the line breaks and juts forward, causing Glenn to fall further than expected and closer to Jobba the Well Zombie than everyone would like.
Suddenly the footage is clipped and Mr. Dynamite is nearly falling off the couch screaming “That’s IT?! It stops THERE?!” and immediately I was repulsed. Why does he care that much? I like Glenn a lot, and it would be a shame to have him go, but the show has not yet given any of us reason to care about anyone. Let alone enough to act as over excited, shocked, and frustrated as he did.
Is he being dishonest?
To what end would that prove to benefit? The audience? How would over-acting help anything? Maybe we’d tune in next week, but if it didn’t pay off or wasn’t handled properly, why would we return? No, it seems like too much work for that scenario to pan out, plus the show has a massive following and has just been signed for a third season. They are far from hurting for ratings.
Is he being honest, then?
Ironically this is the worst option of the two. This provokes the question of why does he honestly care as much as he appeared to after that clip? Has he been watching the same show as us? Is he a long-time fan of the comic and drawing his connections to the characters from there, perhaps? If the next episode is as ‘okay’ as the last two were, or anything near as bad as the first one was, last season was episode for episode far stronger and better off than this one. In that case I have to wonder, if he really did care that much to literally be on the edge of his seat:
Is this how little it takes to impress those in Hollywood? Is this why crap is so often sold to the masses? Is this why our standards for entertainment are so disappointingly low? /coughtwilightfilms
I’ll leave those questions for you, my awesome commentors, to wax philosophic in the comments below.
Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed ^_^
Score this one as a small, but important victory. The episode wasn’t over-flowing with either zombies or action, but it never felt dull and always changed things at just the right time. It found time to expand on characters, kept the story flowing, stuck in a flashback right at the beginning and T-Dog even got some camera time. Also, Andrea almost was a decent person that I didn’t wish harm upon.
Till she snubbed Dale again.
As she was near the RV at that point, I really hoped a zombie would blind-side her like her sister. The one in the woods was tantalizingly close to taking a chunk out of her, but ah. Patience…
Carol is still a pointless character. At least this episode she gave quite an emotional blow to Andrea when she mentioned right in front of her that she prays her daughter doesn’t end up like Amy. Ah, it was great. Misses and I had a good laugh at that one. I still think Carol is zombie grub on two legs, but wondering if they are going to the polar opposite or irony and going to end up making her daughter a zombie that actually takes her out in the end. Rather Dawn of the Dead style with the girl in the basement, but if done right would still get a laugh.
More Like This, Please!
More like this episode, and none like the first episode, please! Feel free to improve upon it, of course ^_^ Let’s hope the next episode is another actiony one and not a talky. Break the curse of the first season! Happily surprise us!
I have to give pointers to Rick’s actor. He completely nailed being in shock when he was on the porch after dropping off Carl. Seeing him jitter about, glazed eyes and staring off on auto-pilot as Shane wiped the blood of his forehead. Seeing him nervously muck about with the soiled rag was spot on.
Hats off to the writers this season, as Shane is a completely watchable human being right now. He usurped some of the Mary Sue out of Rick and has become a great guy and hero of his own story in his own right. Last season I wasn’t pleased with his actions but felt he was also getting a terribly raw deal. This time around they are showing him in a different light which is interesting to see.
Inversely, I am a bit miffed at how often Rick is crumpling this time around. While the too human, human last season was a bit much in one direction, this time around we get the opposite. A mess of doubt and emotions who is constantly second-guessing himself and full of questions on reality, morality, and even his own reasoning abilities. I gather from the interviews of Talking Dead after the shows that this is temporary and is sculpting him to be ‘the great leader his is in the comics’ but right now, I’d like that to happen a bit faster. I don’t have comics to base this on and keep saying “I know it’s bad now, but just wait, you’ll like it.” Heck, Andrea was supposed to be an awesome character and thus far I cannot see why Dale would have stayed with her, nor how anyone with ‘gun rights’ (or crossbow for that matter) would want to save her at all, if not straight up do her in themselves.
I can envision this comic where Andrea is on the RV doing nothing productive as usual in panel one, panel two shows Dale opening the door to check up on her, and panel three is just his left arm and leg in view as the door rips off his hinges and giant crimson letters spelling out “RAAAAAGE” have knocked him out of frame as they fly out from inside the vehicle.
Just give that chick a bullet already. I don’t even mean shoot her. Just give her a bullet and let her fall onto it from a great height.
And coat the bullet with salt.
Dale is still a cool guy. T-dog is in a tight spot, we’ll see if the drugs kick in to save him or not. Glenn finally got some camera love and even got a joke this time around! Yay. Daryle is being hyped up as this uber cool tough guy, but I sorta think he was more awesome last season. Perhaps this time around he feels… a bit stock? Too soon to judge, but that’s my gut feeling at the moment. It’s like every scene he’s in he just dominates and everyone else there is only there to serve him his best representation possible.
Side note: There were two mentions of Merle this episode. Will that amount to anything in the near future?
Anyone else flashback to Left 4 Dead when they started throwing flares?
As often is the case, a decent product following a terrible disappointment tends to shine quite brightly by dynamic comparison alone. (Matrix 2 vs Matrix 3. Star Wars 1+2 vs Star Wars 3. Cataclysm vs Mists of Pandaria, though MoP would have done fine on it’s own. I just wish Cata didn’t seem like such a waste or even a filler by comparison.) I liked the whole episode. I liked how commercials weren’t shoved in my face this time around, in fact instead of dreading the commercials themselves, I dreaded having to wait five minutes to get back into the episode because it hooked me this week.
This was a minor victory. This proves you are actually adequate for television. By many standards, being adequate is proof you are actually too good for television, but I digress. Kudos to a good job, but keep it up. You have plenty of room for improvement and to grow, so do not drop the ball again! Continue to dazzle us in the coming weeks, please ^_^
Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.
What did I think of “What Lies Ahead?”
In a word: “Commercials.”
In another word: “Let-down.”
And yes that is a single word. It’s hyphenated, it counts as one! XD
It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more. This was yet another ‘Talky’ episode that I disliked last season. I understand a lot of stuff is going on and they are explaining a lot and setting a stage, but I also think they only made it 90 minutes to sell the insane amount of ads that we running near the end. If they cut it down to an hour not only would the ad problem go away, but they would be forced to terse and tighten up the action and lop off the boring bits that were ever-present.
Again, it was not bad. But it was clearly edu-tainment. It told us stuff so they can actually act on it later. In comical terms, it was the setup of a joke, and the punchline will be given next week. Or two from that. Sometime. Just not *now*. And I wanted payoff *now* after waiting a year to watch this.
Some good news though! Shane and Lori are now actual, factual characters! I’m so proud. Last season they were just graduated foil characters. This time Lori is actually doing something and holding her own, while Shane is apparently shedding the ‘crazy’ bits and going rogue for the good of the group. He went from neutral villain to anti-hero. Kudos to him.
Andrea can go stick her finger in an outlet. I don’t care what she does in the comic, I want this chick dead. Nothing but hate and angst. Every scene she was in was like watching a highschool poetry class unfold. Big words people do not normally use, let alone under threat of zombie attack, and again not when that ticked off. You just don’t have higher brain functions going on when you rage as much as she was against poor Dale. Ungrateful for his intervention she wishes nothing more to be killed off. We here ate Encrazed Crafts truly wish that she succeeds in her goal. Quickly and with gory detail.
Dale is still awesome. Delaying the group from making a tough decision so coyly and seeing T-Dog willingly go along with it was great. “Tricky hose” indeed ^_^ Sadly, Rick is still a Mary Sue. This time with extreme comparisons to Jesus. Well done on the subtly there, crew.
The gore this episode wasn’t over-the-top, but I did notice the rest of the group I saw it with got a bit squeamish and complained at how realistic it was. The only thing I was thinking when I saw Andrea attack the one zombie in the Road Warrior was frustration as I had an idea to write a story were people really did resort to using a screwdriver in such a fashion against a zombie. Now if I do it I’ll get instant comparisons and claim that I stole it from them. Raspberries!
One final nifty thing of note, as I mentioned up top, last season I complained how every other episode seemed to be all dialog while the others were action. The fifth episode prompted me to state the following:
One final bid for longer lasting viewership: action keeps people glued to their seats. Dialog and only dialog episodes make people feel like they are sitting in glue. (Subtle change, that is.) The first is exciting and pushes the story along wisely and still finds time for character advancement. The second is slow, uncomfortable, and fairly boring. (I did like the humorous explosion in the lab, though. Nice comedic timing of the robotic voice.) The Walking Dead doesn’t need to be *filled* with gore, action, and zombies…but if all it IS filled with is speeches and heart-felt discussions…well…we are left with this:
So imagine my surprise when I found out they were actually having a live after-party talk show titled the “Talking Dead.” I don’t wanna say I called it, as I’d much rather prefer dividends for coining the idea XD
What did you guys think of this episode? A little slow on the pace? Commercials a bit much? Also notice they still managed to squeeze in a shower scene as Shane opened water from the truck? Man, they sure do love shower bits on this show. That’s what, three so far? Every time the people in them are super smiling too. Kinda creepy. Tell us your thoughts on this Walking Dead episode below!
Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.
As season 2 is just about here (less than 24 hours, woot!), I thought it to be wise to give a quick refresher on what the goings on was in the first season. Both as a reminder for potential plot reasons, as well as a quick run-down to all those unaware of the awesome that is the Walking Dead.
Ironically, I had this whole thang typed out, but upon reviewing my previously typed up stuffs I noticed I already did this before! XD So, as I found it critically biting while still being a solid outline of the events that happened, I’m just gonna copy/paste it right here. I would put up a spoiler alert, but if you are going to watch it tonight most of this will be ‘spoiled’ anyway. If you are unaware of the goings-on in the teaser that was season one, you might be confused. But in a good way ^_^
The first episode had Rick escaping the SNAFU’d hospital with one snazzy transitional scene thanks to those wilting flowers. The flip side of that coin, sadly, was just how lame the intro shot was of Rick shooting the obviously turned teddy bear zombie girl, and how much the hospital bit reeked of 28 Days Later. Luckily this was left behind without a seconds thought as Rick passed by the Half Biker Girl Zombie torso and he met up with Morgan, who quickly threatened to kill him at least half a dozen times.
Morgan and his son Duane got Rick up to speed and out of town in no time flat. They even had time for a shower! Anyone drop the soap?
Duane has a heart wrenching moment where he is unable to put down his unliving wife and Rick puts the barely there Biker Girl Zombie to final rest before ‘borrowing’ a horse and trading it up for a tank and a grenade. End.
Shane and Lori, spread eagle near a tree. C-O-U-P-L-I-N-G!
Guts starts off with Glenn helping Rick escape, some crazy old blonde chick puts a gun to Rick’s head, racist southerner gets ‘cuffed to a flimsy and eroded pipe, Rick and Glenn get a deep tissue massage made from deep tissues, and a clumsy black guy drops a key. Glenn likes him some sports car. End.
Frogs shows that Shane and Lori might actually be decent characters after two terrible showings in previous episodes. But! Oh noes! Rick’s back! Lori tells off Shane who immediately reflects this anger and ever-so-mild distemperment into Ed’s skull after Ed is seen slapping his wife. Racist Redneck decided drilling through his ‘cuffs was too hard, but didn’t think to go through the thin, corroded metal twig, and instead recreated Saw with magically almost no blood loss. Mighty fine grip you got going on with your belt there, Amos! End.
Vatos! Ah, how I’ve missed you. Rick attempts to snatch his cache of weapons and radio, but in exchange he loses Glenn to a marauding latino gang. Racist Redneck Jr. gets a butt shot off before they get away though, so so it’s all good. In the end the Vatos were just posing as tough guys and Granny gives Rick a tour of a medical facility…that Rick never thinks about holing up in with the rest of the people back at camp. Oh, bother. And zombies attack the campsite, leading to a very fulfilling chaotic zombie battle, with bats, shovels, shotguns, crossbows, and rifles. Woot! End.
Wildfire lingers far too long. Andrea should be shot. Jim is the real man’s version of Rick without Main Character Powers. Black Lady is offensive and does not visibly have a relationship with T-Dog. Shane wants to shoot Rick for no reason. Andrea wanted to shoot Rick for no reason. Mr. CDC hijack’s our TV and takes us by surprise before blowing up his wife’s remains in a botched experiment. It made me laugh, though. End.
TS-19 was another great episode, yet it is fairly split on the love/hate-o-meter to the reviewing audience. Mr. CDC explains to the dum-dum casual audience what zombies are and exactly what we should have known from day one. He could have said “Watch Shawn of the Dead” for the first half of the episode and saved a lot of exposition. I still liked it, thought he acted wonderfully, and hope he gets a lot of great work after showing off his abilities here.
Back to super short recap: Everyone likes wine (‘cept Carl, boo!), Shane is mad in the shower, Rick and Lori are very happy in the shower, Andrea is wasting our time as well as theirs with all that hot water washing down the drain, Shane fails at Surprise Sex, Rick’s drunk, Mr. CDC locks everyone in for no honest reason, and then he lets them go before getting all Lost in Translation with Rick. Black Lady and Mr. CDC die in a massive explosion that, again, half the reviewership thinks was over done or out of place and fake. A short sandbag wall blocks the flames from killing Andrea, sadly.
Wasn’t that great? Man, I’m awesome. (Misses: “And so modest, too -_^!”) Speaking of the Misses, it’s our anniversary today. So how’s that for a nice Anniversary gift, eh? The Walking Dead is back on AND the Halloween event in WoW starts up tonight. We still need to level up hardcore to be able to queue for that as we are 78 now with no rested. I’m hoping we can queue up for it at 81 as 85 just is not in the cards for a handful of hours to play >.<
If you’d like to know more about the episodes or even just what I thought about em, check out the previous posts I did on em! Have a great day every one, still about… fourish hours till the show starts. Have a good’in!
(FYI, my favorites were four, six, and one. In that order.)
Behold the epic undead trailer.
(Note: Theres some gore in there. But no nekkid bits. Just gooey red stuffs.)
Zombie games are far from rare right now, but I really must insist you guys check out that trailer in the link above. The skill involved to tell a story without a word of dialog is difficult, before adding in the constant back-and-forthing with the timeline, but it was handled masterfully. THIS is what zombie outbreaks are about, folks. THIS is why zombie storylines should be the scariest of all horror films if produced properly. The sense of loss is deep, and for god’s sake a video game just massively one-upped the intro to Walking Dead using the exact same premise. (Obviously dead young girl used to get the audience’s attention and set the stage of “shizzle just got real.”)
I am leaning more towards the “if they ironed out the trailer this well, the gameplay should be equally awesome” and letting my jaded gaming soul stand in the corner. That trailer was far too overwhelming to be a mere publicity sponge, the gameplay surely must at least mimic it to some degree. (Right?) I’m really digging the setting for this game, and while the previewer in the above link was gaga about the graphics, as long as the controls are fluid, the action is paced well, and the game doesn’t get too grindy, I’ll be happy. At the very least, that trailer was better than nearly any Resident Evil movie or any post black-and-white Romero zombie flick.
Survival Horror is making a come-back, folks! Procuring weapons on sight and having to run from fights to live another day is going to make some people hold those controllers with white knuckles. Fellas, snag a copy of this game no matter how it turns out and the lady-friend will be glued to your arm for as long as you can milk the storyline. For those without a companion, don’t forget there will be a multiplayer co-op mode as well ^_^