‘The Walking Dead’ 2.11 Recap: “The Group Is Broken”

The Kid Situation has come to a head. Do they kill him, or do they follow Dale’s lead and preserve their humanity by letting the kid live? This really shouldn’t be the ‘Walking Dead’ group’s biggest worry, though. Their alarming state of complacency is putting more lives in danger than a young guy who may or may not bring his buddies back to the farm.

I’m constantly shocked at how complacent the show’s characters get on the farm. Just for a minute, think about a world full of zombies. Could you imagine letting your kid wander around open fields flanked by thick woods without any supervision? Could you imagine even letting your kid out of your sight for a few seconds without wondering if he’s become zombie chow? I remember visiting my grandpa’s cabin when I was young, and my parents were so freaked out about the possibility of rattlesnakes that they insisted I couldn’t leave their sight. The way this group has been treating their time on the farm is astonishingly naïve.

Before we discuss that further, let’s start at the beginning, when a suddenly-caring Daryl lays into the prisoner with Sayid-like ferocity. Daryl keeps saying that he doesn’t care what anyone does, but as he’s beating the prisoner to a pulp, he exclaims, “You shot at my boys!” A short while later, he states that he’d be better off on his own. I like Daryl, but either he cares about the camp and the people in it, or he doesn’t.

The T-Dog Watch was on this week. Every episode, I try to ascertain exactly what the writers have planned for our favorite disappearing friend. T-Dog was sighted a total of three times this episode (although the first time was at the beginning when almost his entire body and face were hidden behind Shane) and spoke one line of dialogue. It’s almost becoming comical how much T-Dog isn’t in the show. It feels like the producers are purposefully trying to exclude him for some reason. Every one of the other characters who were left in the dust last week got some screen time and even a few impassioned lines of dialogue. Not T-Dog, though.

Rick has been tasked with figuring out whether to execute the prisoner or let him live. Obviously, Dale comes down on the moral high ground, even though there’s no real survival advantage to keeping the kid alive. Dale’s rounds around the camp seem like filler to me. He has to talk to everyone and try to sway them to his way of thinking, because Dale’s always right. We all knew that Rick would chicken out in the end anyway, didn’t we?

The wrench in the ‘Walking Dead’ cogs this time around is Carl, who has inexplicably entered his Terrible Teens a little early. He saunters around camp sporting his best Henry Evans impersonation: dead eyes, blank face. This is a hardened Carl, a Carl who wants to see humans get shot in the head and tease zombies stuck in mud. Every time we focus on Carl, he seems to find a brand new way of putting his life and the lives of others in jeopardy. Yet those aren’t the worst things Carl does this week. The worst, according to Carol and the scolding that he gets from Rick, is back-talking. Don’t worry, Carl; please continue to go play in the woods without anyone really caring, but don’t you dare tell Carol that heaven doesn’t exist!

Dale’s final “We Can Still Create a Utopia” speech is a doozy. Teary-eyed and full of righteous indignation, Dale makes his case for the prisoner. People start coming to his side. Not a lot, but a few. Then it gets decided: Let’s shoot the kid in the head. In protest, Dale goes off walking, in the dark, in the open field just like they all do from time to time, apparently thinking that there’s no way zombies could be out here.

I think it took Dale’s torn-open chest cavity to let everyone in on the secret that the farm isn’t as safe as they make it out to be, especially when they go gallivanting off into the woods without using some sort of Buddy System. I’m still trying to understand why, when people in this show need alone time, they figure that the best idea is to walk to totally unprotected and generally unknown places. Can’t you all just go sulk in your tents? Or that nice porch swing the Greene’s have got there? Nah, that’s not dramatic enough. When they’ve got to show that they’re really angry, only a walk into zombie-infested fields and woods will do.

1 comment

  1. Mario Menchaca

    Damn it, it had to be Dale!!!

    Why not that stupid Carl? I hated him all through this episode. I was rooting so hard for that stuck walker to get free and spill Carl’s guts all over the place, but no. It had to be Dale…

    Stupid series… x-(

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