TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 7 – PRETTY MUCH DEAD ALREADY

This week on The Walking Dead, debates rage and tempers fray; Maggie is upset when Glenn reveals her father’s secret to his friends, Andrea is unhappy when Dale questions her new relationship with Shane and the debate on whether to stay or go – and what to do about the Walkers in the barn – rages on.

So far, season two of The Walking Dead has been a slow one. The momentum that drove the survivors out of Atlanta was quickly lost and they physically stayed still for the past 7 episodes, meaning that the story slowed down with them. Cuts to the show’s budget may have led to some last minute changes to the story, and the past six episodes of the show have been devoted to character development and building a slow burn of a plot with a couple of nice set pieces thrown in for good measure. This season of the show has been given double the amount of episodes as it’s predecessor, but while fans rejoiced at this news, it was not always a good thing. Yes, it was interesting to learn more about the characters and their motivations, but there were times when the audience just longed for a decent skirmish between zombie and survivor.

This week, we got the showdown we have been waiting for. Rick tries to act as mediator between Hershel his friends, even going so far as to rescue two Walkers that have got stuck in mud near the farm. Hershel believes that Walkers are merely sick and should be treated as such, where as Rick – and we – have seen enough of the outside world to know that there is nothing that can be done to rehabilitate a Walker. As they return to the farm, Shane has finally had enough and decides to clean out the barn.

Shane has been close to breaking point for some time and, as predicted, it is when he hears that Lori is pregnant that he finally snaps. There has been a power struggle all season long between Rick and Shane, and this is the moment that Shane takes his power into his own hands. He demonstrates that Walkers are no longer people by shooting one of the Walkers repeatedly in the chest, before open the doors to the barn and taking aim. Andrea and Glenn help him out – this moment cementing Glenn’s newfound confidence in himself – but when the smoke has cleared, there is one Walker left in the barn.

Since the Walkers in the barn subplot came to light, it was pretty clear that Sophia was among them, however, it was still surprising to see her stumble out of the barn, all zombified. Up until now, the tables have been turned on the Walkers; they have always been the ones getting the drop on the survivors, but it is now their turn to be as vulnerable as they could possibly be. It’s great to see the tables turned on the Walkers, that is, until Sophia drags herself into the light. Her arrival prompts a few different reactions; Carol is hysterical, some are in shock, but Rick quickly rises to the challenge. As he raises his gun, the debate rages within him; should he kill his son’s friend or stick with Hershel and try and save her? If he does, will Hershel ever forgive him for his double standards? Will Carol ever forgive him for killing her? Rick takes his chances and does what we hoped he would; spatters Sophia’s zombie brains all over the ground.

And so, the search for Sophia – and one of the slowest subplots known to man – comes to an end. This moment in the show solved a number of arguments, but will inevitably start some new ones. It will be interesting to see, when The Walking Dead returns in February, where the survivors end up going and of course, the effect of Sophia’s demise on the rest of the group, particularly the pregnant Lori.

This week, The Walking Dead was as slow as the season so far, but in the final few moments the story picked up speed, and everything changed. Hopefully this has now set the pace for the rest of the season and the group finally hits the road again without talking about it too much. There are probably more issues between the members of the groups than there have ever been, but the fight to watch in 2012 is surely going to be the one over Lori’s baby… Oh and let’s hope for a few more fast paced set pieces, there have not been nearly enough Walkers this season.

GS Reviewer: Brogen

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One comment

  1. I, for one, don’t need zombies walking around and getting killed to be satisfied. I think that while this is clearly the best episode of the season, the previous episode was the second best, and that’s because there was conflict, and all the secrets were out in the open. 3rd best episode was the Darryl episode.

    I think that if you don’t have a zombie-killing episode, you should have episodes with some impact.

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