The second episode of The Walking Dead sees the show lumber onwards, barely missing a step. We rejoin our hero exactly where we left him, and soon a bunch of new survivors join in. Which is good, as although I like Andrew Lincoln, a whole series of him staring dejectedly would’ve got old.
So, after a phenomenally acclaimed first week, can they keep up the slow, quite creepy momentum?
Pure Quiet Sloppy Fear
This week’s episode, in my mind, cemented The Walking Dead as a horror series for the Mad Men/The Wire generation. The thoughtful pacing and atmospheric world-building is far more reminiscent of those shows than anything like Buffy or Angel. Not to mention, like in any good horror story, the disturbing moments are made all the more unsettling by the calm spells between them.
I won’t spoil this week’s big moment of unpleasantness and distress, but it’s pretty rank. I was somewhat anticipating it, as I remember the similar scene from the comic book. I can only assume it was still more nauseating for those who aren’t familiar with the source.
So far, the whole first two episodes have been more or less a single two-part story. Whether it will become more episodic in the future, who can say?
Other People, Real And Imagined
We get a decent influx of new characters this week, with a pleasant mix of races and genders, plus a massive Southern stereotype. I suppose there had to be at least one. Next week, it seems likely they all meet back up at the camp, and that awkward marital confrontation we’ve been waiting for will finally happen. Gulp.
Once again, they’ve been cleverly using anticipation to make us fearful of this moment. God knows it’s worked on me, I’m crapping myself. And I’ve already read the comic.
As many have reported, the awesome ratings for the first two episodes of The Walking Dead have compelled AMC to order a second season already, and twice the length of this first one. Based on the quality so far, this sounds like a good idea to me. The direction isn’t quite as luscious this time, but as I said in last week’s “Days Gone Bye” review, Darabont can’t direct them all.
So yes, another good episode. Let me know whether you agree, and exactly how disgusting that sequence was if you didn’t know it was coming.