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I Repeat: By Removing the Head, or Destroying the Brain.

The second episode of the Walking Dead just finished airing (the code to enter the contest to get a “shuffle on role” in an episode was HUNGRY, if you missed it) and it was equally as good as the first, if not a bit better.  Admittedly I was a bit nervous after reading that Darabont did not direct this episode, or anything other than the pilot (nice find, Clint).  Luckily, it all turned out very well and it was a great episode even with someone else behind the viewfinder.  Spoiler warning.

Sadly, the new director carried over yet another weak and forced opening.   Possibly a remnant from the comic the series is based upon, but yet again it showcased some of the worst of the previous episode.  Now not only did the wife give up on the main character enough to be consoled by his best friend (in about a week, no less) now she is now venturing out into the dense forest, on her own, in order to find said best friend of her supposed deceased husband.  There the two engage is some aggressive carnal lust, as she is more than readily craving sex from him. 


Well after that wall of frustrating impossibility lumbers past, we are given a decent show.  (Starting to think that skipping everything before the title flashes on screen might be the best bet if this keeps up.)  New characters are added to the mix, which I didn’t even notice hit several minorities (Asian, Mexican, and African American) until the racist country bumpkin spouted off the Slur of Slurs.

Now, being a gamer at heart… was I the only one thinking this?

Left 4 The Walking Dead?

Anyway, after this new cast was explained the episode flowed pretty nicely.  The action was good, but not over-powering.  Once again the flawed radio caused drama at the wife’s camp, and yet again ended with ex-best friend telling a chick what to do.  This time he was actually right, though.  If everyone broke away from the group to help out one other person of their own choosing, the group would crumble and everyone would get killed off.  He was right for once, everyone!  Hurray!  He’s adequate!

A near comedic plot to help all the stow-away survivors is hatched and successful (though nearing what happened in Sean of the Dead a bit in the process), and all the important people get away.  And even though the door was locked some how a zombie seems to not only figure out someone is on the roof, but how to break a dead bolt and metal chain to get at them.  Me thinks a scene of Saw is a-comin’, as the tool box was blatantly shot tumbling over and they even mentioned the idea of using a hacksaw to take out some iron bars in the sewer.

Either way, a solid episode.  I might detail my gripes above, but they are only minor detractions from an otherwise stream-lined show.  Though, the sooner they bump off or at least tone down ex-best bud from running the camp of survivors, the better.

9 responses »

  1. Ya, the opening of the second episode was a bit odd… Certainly got my attention, but not really in a good way… I was leaning towards the set, wondering, ‘How far are they going with this sequence?’…. More curious in terms of censorship than anything else (…again, as AMC tends to butcher anything remotely ‘offensive’). Thankfully, they kept it fairly quick and (relatively) clothed (…not that I’m against that sort of thing, but I was here for the story and zombies!).

    Even so, it was surprisingly ‘naughty’ for a tv series that wasn’t on HBO.

    To make matters worse, I suggested the show to my parents just before the second episode started… so they probably got a pretty odd first impression of the kinds of shows I’m watching and think they should watch!

    [Face palm….]

    • Oh, god. Same thing here with the parents, Laer. I was all jazzed about the new episode, turned off the lights to set the mood (bad pun) …and all that was missing was cheesy 80’s porno music. Awkwaaaard.

      Hopefully they can refocus their shock value onto more productive (no pun intended) measures onto things the audience would actually approve of. I felt uneasy during the matches and stairs scene for all the right reasons. I felt uneasy at the start of the second episode for all the wrong reasons.

      Thanks for the comment, man! Might I suggest getting your parents some sort of card from Hallmark to undo the mind warping potential? The more innocent it looks, the better. Fluffy bunnies, teddy bears, etc. Bonus points for including a younger picture of yourself as well. That should help melt them back to before ‘the incident.’

  2. I know we discussed this on my blog, but the only reason I found the opening scene awkward was because it’s on basic cable. It just seemed like exploitation. Then again, Mad Men (also on AMC) had a fellatio scene last season. I think AMC’s trying to rival HBO and if it attracts unwanted FCC attention so be it. The sex scene was necessary, but the representation wasn’t. Around the second or third The Walking Dead graphic novel it becomes apparent why and it’s possible we’ll find out by next season.

    I didn’t think consciously about the racial medley at the department store (Asian, African Americans, etc.) and your commentary regarding Michael Rooker’s character is funny. Check out Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer for further Rooker racism. If you can get past the hyper-violence in the film, Rooker’s role is phenomenal.

    • I am eagerly awaiting for the end of that story arc, to say the least. While it is not a full on repulsion at this point, my patience is extremely thin when it comes to Shane and Lori being on camera, as the relationship the show is displaying is so far beyond the element of possibility and reason that I do not even want to apply myself as to what logic was given to it on the adaptation end. I’d much rather get exactly what the graphic novel delivered (from what I heard) than what we were handed. Less Spider-Man 3 drama, more Rick being Rick with some funny Glenn moments sprinkled in.

      Thank you so much for your comment, Aborty! I just looked up the trailer for Henry and it does have a certain gritty 80’s documentary noir vibe goin’ on. It might not be my cup of tea, but it did showcase that he had more acting talent than Stinkpalm :)

  3. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is extremely gritty. I’m not sure whether it was shot on 16mm or 35, but there are a few moments where Henry and his accomplice videotape a horrid murder scene. Henry is a deeply disturbed character and the film isn’t funny but a very messed up look at a twisted mind. If you’re looking for a good serial killer film, the French movie Man Bites Dog is where to start. It uses similar themes but is darkly comic at times. It’s more thought out, even though it’s still quite disgusting and grim. It won at Cannes almost 20 years ago and it still holds up today.

    I think having read every single issue of The Walking Dead colors my perspective regarding the show. I think the book is the best comic I’ve read in years and aside from the works of Harvey Pekar, Peter Bagge, and the Hernandez brothers, The Walking Dead is a great read. My only complaint with Kirkman’s dialogue is his lack of brevity. This has changed over the last few dozen issues, but the first eight or nine graphic novels use too many modifiers – he can’t change verb into adverbs when necessary, making his writing resemble a college freshmen watching too much television. His storylines are superb but his dialogue needs work.

    This week’s episode looks great and I’m hoping the season doesn’t end at six episodes. Originally they only shot six and renewed the show but it might take a year before it starts up again. Bummer.

  4. I was underwhelmed by episode 2. Aside from Rick, Glenn, and Merle, the characters were kind of flat and uninteresting, the acting was a bit meh, and yes, that opening scene! I forgot all about it. What kind of creep sneaks up on a woman like that during a zombie apocalypse?

    • Yeah, the whole opening bits bothered me to say the least, though I think I’ve said the *most* about that topic already. I’m glad episode three was a whole heap of a lot better by all but actiony bits standards. Lori is actually a character now, and Shane is no longer the whipping “the audience is supposed to hate me” boy as we have Mr. Noname Southerner with a mindset from the 60s and earlier. Beat the snot outta him, Shane! Even if it is due to sexual frustration…

      Thank you very much for your comment, Bex! Hope you enjoyed the third ep. as much as I did!

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