For those viewers clamoring for something to happen in ‘The Walking Dead’, this week’s may, or may not, be the episode for you. It’s a strange blend of the same old thing, yet introduces a new problem during the cliffhanger ending.
Brief Synopsis: Hershel seems just about fed up with his new visitors and is getting increasingly annoyed by them. Daryl steals a horse to go look for Sophia. After getting bucked off the horse and injured, Daryl is visited by the Ghost of Merle Past. Shane and Rick have almost reached a boiling point. And Glenn, while still having the hots for Maggie, wonders whether the women in the group have all aligned their cycles. (No, really, he does.)
Episode Thoughts: I’m trying to think back to past episodes, but I believe that this episode’s opening is the first flashback that doesn’t directly tie into the rest of the episode’s plot somehow. At first, when I saw the blockade of cars on the freeway, I thought we were going to witness what actually happened to the people in the traffic jam that our friends had been stuck in. Instead, we get a glimpse of the group starting out on their journey. I wonder what it must feel like to see a big city like Atlanta getting napalmed. It’s quite an image, but doesn’t really have much bearing on the episode itself.
Daryl decides to go out by himself to search for Sophia, and takes one of Hershel’s horses. Tsk, tsk! If Daryl had bothered to ask, he would’ve found out that the horse he took was called Nervous Nelly. As a result, the horse gets easily spooked by a snake, rears up, and flings Daryl down a steep embankment, causing him to impale one of his arrows into his side on the way down. While unconscious, Daryl hallucinates about his brother Merle – the very same brother who was left to die, handcuffed to the top of a building. I always wondered if we’d see Merle again, but didn’t think that he’d come back as a dream. The question now is whether Daryl will heed Ghost Merle’s advice to shoot Rick in the face, or will he fight against Merle’s influence and try to become a better person?
It’s a good thing that Daryl runs across the only zombie that would politely gnaw on his boot rather than ripping into his nice, meaty thigh. That seemed a little far-fetched. All that yummy human meat just lying there, and the one zombie lucky enough to come across it starts chomping away at the shoes? Also, what were we supposed to glean from Daryl making a zombie ear necklace? That he’s all of a sudden changed into a man hell-bent on killing each and every zombie he sees? That’s fine, really. He’s been that way most of the time. However, all I could think about is how stinky that ear necklace would be.
Finally, we have Glenn. The poor guy just wants to participate in life’s little pleasures – like having sex with Maggie. Maggie gives him the run-around, but he’s a persistent little guy. She finally concedes to do it again, and Glenn informs her by note to meet him in the hayloft. Then, BAM! Cliffhanger ending. Hershel and his family have been hording zombies in a locked-up barn for some unexplained reason. Why? Who knows? How no one has heard any grunting or growling coming from that particular barn is also a mystery.
I’m guessing that the zombies are members of Hershel’s family that he isn’t quite ready to let go of. Maybe he thinks that one day there will be a cure. I have no idea why they’re in there, but it’s clear that Hershel has other motives in mind other than just being a kind old farmer who patches up the injured.
Episode was OK, but I have to say that I’m getting tired of the farm and the search for Sophia. The decision to confine so much of the season to this one remote location (with very few zombies around) was obviously a consequence of the network’s budget cuts. It feels contrived.
I also think that those are members of his famiky that he’s “storing” them until a cure is found but im thinking they need to eat and he might end up trying to make a meal out of his new unwanted guests.
you know , if your hording zombies in the barn , probably not the best to tell a visitor to feel free pick a spot to mingle.
if setting this at the farm is due to budget , then it has helped the show. it’s made the people grow , ricks determination to find sophia. shane’s determination to move on. the vet whose ready to see his guests move on. Daryl growing into his own and seeing how he feels about his brother. it’s a fun show.
Not a bad episode, but leave the damn farm already!
I am not sure about the budget, but this all happens in the comics, in fact, this season seems to be following the comics much closer than last season. Glenn’s relationship with Maggie, Carl being shot, the barn full of zombies, Lori’s pregnancy (and that was the fastest home pregnancy tests I have ever seen!), all in the comics. Unfortunately for me, it means many of the twists are hard to get excited about as I already know what happens.
A few exceptions include Shane shooting Otis, Shane’s overall character development (much better on screen than the comic) and anything including Daryl. I liked how season one mixed old and new, it was familiar yet still fresh, but besides the above, season two is too familiar. I wonder if this had something to do with Darabont’s leaving, maybe he wanted to continue to pull it in a new direction that Kirkman or AMC did not want to go.
Sophia does not get lost in the comics, but it isn’t exactly a big twist to pull in fans of the comic. Devoting four episodes in a limited season is a lot of time to put on her disappearance. At this point, there needs to be a huge payoff for our investment, but I am not sure if they can pull it off.
Your point about the opening is right on, I felt that we were getting an explanation of the traffic jam seen at the start of the season, instead we get the napalm. I have defended quite a few of the inconsistencies, but this one really pulled me out. They napalmed the hell out of Atlanta, yet Rick casually entered a completely un-napalmed Atlanta at the start of the season. That didn’t make any sense, especially after it did not tie into anything in the episode or previous episodes.
Still, I am thoroughly enjoying the show, though it seems a few are getting tired of the season, and I hear legitimate complaints. If they continue to follow the comics, the next place after the farm is where things really hit the fan and there is a ton of zombie action, brutality, and a real villain other than the zombies which the group has to contend with. If AMC doesn’t hold back and they do go to the next place, the pace of the show should really pick up and bring back the excitement. We may even see a lot more of Meryl.
Interesting info, Lahrs. One of our contributors here insists that everything that has happened this entire season was covered in about five pages of the comic total. But he’s prone to exaggeration. 🙂
Question – if they napalmed Atlanta how come when they were in the city before there was no damage that would be reminiscent of napalm damage?
Atlanta’s a big city. How much of it got napalmed?
Good question but I would think Napalm dropped into a city would have more of an effect.
I would guess with most of the civil stuff gone and the city empty, damage from Napalm would have created some serious fire damage that would spread across the entire city would it not?
Other wise I enjoyed the episode even though I have read the comics.
London’s zombie-cleansing napalming looked better.
That’s a good question, John. I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I’d think in a modern urban setting that’s mostly concrete, asphalt and brick, fire wouldn’t sweep through the whole city like it did during the Civil War when all of the buildings were wooden.
We have any firefighters in the audience who can weigh in? 🙂
During that flashback it looked like an all-inclusive napalming. Unless it was another big city in Georgia. I’m not too familiar with what the Atlanta skyline looks like.