Last week, the walking idiots of The Walking Dead decided to rescue a kid with his leg trapped on a fence. This time, the bulk of the action is spent flapping around, nearly getting themselves killed whilst trying to tie off that loose end.
Maybe next time, they’ll just not bother?
Rick & Shane Go On Vacation
I’ve seen all episodes of The Walking Dead to date, and they’re very fond of the “chapters in a novel” approach to storytelling, wherein each episode is one chunk of a larger story. Unfortunately, they hadn’t quite managed to make less eventful segments exciting.
This time, they go hurtling in the other direction, using only a few members of the ridiculously large ensemble cast and giving us two clear storylines with a beginning, middle and end. First, we have Shane and Rick going on the road to decide what to do with Randall, and air their many issues with each other while they’re at it.
Oh, and some zombie action too. This strand is rather good, partly because these are two of the more nuanced characters in the show, and also because it finally directly addresses their obvious issues, rather than letting it fester in subtext. There’s also some toying with expectations following last week’s cliffhanger.
Lori & Andrea Fight Among Themselves
Meanwhile, back at the literal ranch, Maggie, Lori and Andrea handle a suicidal child. This one doesn’t work as well, partly because the “Why do we bother?” issue has been raised again and again in past episodes, and they don’t say anything new about it here. Also, I barely know who this “Beth” is (seriously, I had to google her name to write this), so struggled to care about her battle with mortality.
There was decent characterisation for Andrea, her argument with Lori had its moments, but on the whole, this just felt like more farm angst, thrown in after the writers decided that, no, they probably couldn’t do a whole episode with only Rick and Shane.
Still, this is one of the few episodes of The Walking Dead that felt like a single unit of television in itself, rather than 40 minutes of the world’s longest, slowest zombie movie, and I have to give them credit for that. Hopefully this is indicative of the future.
The Walking Dead Season One is available on DVD from Amazon.