The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead Review: Gunfight at the Zombie Corral

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What did The Walking Dead teach us, for what seems like the hundredth time? Never. Leave. The Farm. It only leads to potential death.

Realistically, the group won't take the advice and for the sake of the show and this episode it provided for a fantastic hour of television. "Triggerfinger" brought back to life the intensity and pulse-pounding thrills that seemed to have taken a nap on much of the early half of season 2.

The best moments revolved around Rick, Glenn and Hershel penned up in the bar after killing Tony and Dave. Not only was there finally some action (man, can Hershel run and shoot! Who knew?), but the pacing of tension during those scenes was top notch. There was a real sense of waiting for something bad to happen, waiting for something to pop out and waiting to see how Rick and the two would escape.

Glenn and Rick, Trapped

I enjoyed some of the stylistic choices of camera work here, which included plenty of zoom-ins on characters and dramatic close-ups that captured the fear of being trapped and on the verge of an unknown death. Even the crooked angles and high above shots gave the episode a certain freshness that - combined with the shootout - made for a high level of intensity.

I have no idea what made Rick call out to the men after he left, but I guess it's in his nature to try and make everything okay, or at least justify his actions. Which were true, he was drawn upon first, yet I don't know why he didn't make up a story, like they thought they were walkers and that's why they shot.

And the show does a good job of maintaining for the audience the recognition that Rick and everyone associated with him are the "good guys" and everyone else starts off as a potential threat. In fact, we don't know anything about the other group or what they've been through. They may be good guys themselves simply looking to survive. It's a great dynamic to introduce.

It's also enjoyable to see that dangerous situations aren't always involving zombies. It's still nice to have that very basic conflict between people. And unlike walkers, humans are perfectly unpredictable.

To top off the problem situation, the sound of gunfire called in more walkers. If you've been missing out on the gore, (and yes, watching zombies rip flesh off still alive people is disgusting), this episode was sure to be right up your alley. I know I've missed dealing with their stumbling, gnashing, clawing, selves.

Even Rick pulling up Randall's leg from the fence spike was intense. The feeling of everything closing in around them and the potential inevitability of leaving him behind while he was screaming and the zombies were stumbling closer was pure terror. Leave it to Rick to make the quick decision to save him. The choice certainly means that Rick still has a sense of right and wrong, a level of humanity, even when faced with death. He hasn't become as hardened as someone like Shane. Sure, his kills on Tony and Dave were relatively cold and direct, but he was drawn upon, and he wants to protect his people.

Rick may be an idealist in many terms, but he continues to prove his status as a leader who makes the right decisions and a true hero of the show.

Plus, he told Lori what I'd been thinking about her actions in running after him: "Are you crazy?" Well said, Rick. At least you recognize the idiocy behind it.

I guess I'm just glad that they didn't draw the particular car crash scene out, nor did they seem to imply that a cliffhanger would involve whether or not her baby was alright (at least for now.) It really seemed like she walked away from that crash pretty unharmed. Not great story wise, but not overly drawn out.

And while I think many of Lori's choices don't make any sense, I was glad that she told Shane about letting Rick know that they had slept together. She was even clear about there being nothing between them without any hesitancy. It looks like only beast mode Shane sees this destiny of love for them.

I was pleased that she let Rick know what happened as well. It's kind of refreshing when characters don't hold back all of this important information and simply communicate, especially with Lori and Rick as husband and wife. That's what they should be doing if they want to keep their family and their relationship intact.

If anything, it looks like Rick may need to prepare for a potential Shane problem. Like that wasn't obvious? Though, those final moments seemed to imply that we won't have to wait five or six episodes before anything takes place. Things are starting to pick up and a Shane and Rick face off seems very likely.

That included bringing back Randall to the farm. The possibility of warring factions between two groups is intriguing, as is the potential for moving the story forward. Hopefully, Randall has plenty of character and dimensionality and is not just a catalyst for a action packed standoff. I'm really excited to see where this new storyline takes us.

This was an entertaining, tension-filled and story-moving episode. While the characters still haven't left the farm or dealt with the aftermath of the barn massacre, there was a great amount of pacing and action to get things going. I think a show like this is really most effective when it finds a way to build suspense, allowing the viewer to become sucked in and giving the characters things to do that not only make a modicum amount of sense, but also push everything forward.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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After reading this review and some of the comments I can't help but notice how differently I like the characters compared to everyone else. I guess I'll just make a list of the main characters and describe them from my perspective, so here we go: Rick- Okay, no-brainer here, he's the man with the plan. Definitely the best leader of any of the characters. His ability to keep his actions humane and ethical in times where humanity and morality don't exsist is what makes him the ultimate "good guy hero" Shane- Unlike basically everyone, I like shane. The reason for this, I feel like the way his character has developed considering what he has gone through are the most realistic. I mean, let's be honest here, everyone is critisizing the guy for putting survival before anything or anyone else. I think to many people aren't considering how they might react in a time of plague -> I know I would have that shane mentality because I consider myself a survivalist too so I suppose that's why I like him. I don't agree with his love-life (one sided that is) decisions though. Lori- Alright, I F*CKING HATE this character. The sooner she dies the better. She is the most hypocritical, selfish, P.O.S. on the show. Not to mention she's a whore. Just nothing to like about her. Daryl- This guy is such a BA, how could you not fall in love with him? He's also able to hold on to his humanity like rick does (although he doesn't quite show it) which makes his the dark hero of the show. I'll give honorable mentions to Glenn & Maggie -> I mean, what's not to like about gleen? And Maggie stands as the only asertive woman who isn't a lunatic on the show so gotta like that too. I also enjoy watching Herschel develop as a character, I loved how he has become more realistic about the world they now live in. Before he was just the crazy old religous farmer. (ofcourse he used to have an alcoholism problem, what crazy old religous farmer doesn't!?) So that's just about it, everyone else is too small a role to care about (even Carl's gay ass for the time being). I'm posting this a year after this episode came out but I hope atleast a couple people read this! I would love to hear your opionions

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While the first season was a genuinely frightening and mysterious journey with plenty of white-knuckle moments, this second offering, the longer it gets, feels more and more like Little House on the Prairie - with Zombies. I get that the budget is much lower for this season, but even so: Pull yourselves together and give us a little more scare-factor. Otherwise... Good night, John Boy.

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The thing is this is not a picnic trip to Jellystone National Park where some pesky bears, I mean Walkers, have gotten into the picnic basket. It is a WAR between zombies and humans now into its second season (I mean year). And there is plenty of evidence on how humans behave the longer they are exposed to battlefield conditions. They become less emotional about killing the enemy and more reliant emotionally on those they perceive as their comrades who have got their back. And the leaders are the ones who are strong and decisive not those who check "is everyone okay with that?".
If the writers of the show want to succeed in making a cheesey premise authentic they should do their research and try to imagine how the survivors would really act. I know this view isn't popular and I respect that (hey it's the zombies we should be fighting, not each other!) and I am okay if Shane is to die provided Glenn goes as collateral damage too (one last constipated, angsty look on his face).

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Im pretty sure next episode StBob your hero Shane will meet his just demise. The guy has turned into a lunatic. He has the typical pshycopathic mentality going on that he thinks he loves Lori and Carl and in that thinking will kill anyone or anything that gets in his way of that love. Lori was very wise to tell Rick of what Shane has become and at the end of the episode we can see that Rick finally believes what everyone else has been seeing. The teasers for next week show pretty clearly that their showdown is on and it the result shouldn't be a spoiler to anyone.

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As much as I dislike the females on the show, didn't quite hate Lori last night, I just don't see any reason to have Andrea, and Carol at all, but I do love the guys on there, all except for Shane. Rick is definietly better than ever, but I do see something coming for Rick and Shane, definietly looking forward to it!

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I'm not a Lori fan, but the way they wrote her lines at the end was brilliant. She pointed out that Rick had killed the living to protect what is his. Then points out that Shane thinks that she & Carl are his (Shane's that is) and that Rick will get get them both killed. The obvious way you take it is "Shane thinks you will get Carl & me killed and is willing to kill anyone to protect us. Shane sees you as a threat and might kill you to protect us." But another way to take it is, "Shane is dangerous, and you've already proven you'd kill to protect us. So, I think you need to go kill Shane to protect us." As far as more gore & more action, there was definitely more of it, but my favorite was the walker forcing his face through the glass causing his face to peel back. Very nice touch.

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Naomi~you're comment is Right On! Lori is beginning to become my least favorite female! Such drama and trying to be so dramatic is really unattractive to me. I'm like you...give me Darryl any day....he and Sophie's Mom are becoming my favorite 2, and I feel they don't get enough time either!
I have never liked horror-gore type shows, but dang it: I'm hooked on this one, been watching every episode since the first! Love it and Fanatic, your
review is RIGHT ON TOO!

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I think that this show had it all for those missing zombie action and gore and for those with drama. However i couldnt help but think all lori was doing with rick was stirring up the pot i mean telling him that shane wants her and etc. She was being honest yes but at some point she started sounding like a drama queen. My favorite character is darryl and i hate he doesnt get more screen time. I mean if i got to go out into a zombie world he is the one i want to be with and the group seems to forget he exists unless they need a errand boy. Glenn needs to suck it up if he cant see everyone has been selfish so he really needs to quit crying. Cant wait til next sunday

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Can we please not forget Hershel putting Shane in his place. I thought that was one of the highlights of the episode. Shane is such a loose canon, it's just good to know that the majority of those around him are finally seeing his true colors.

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I love this show, I think you have a lot of personalities here and of course they are all gonna have their own opinions on what they should do, I would be on Ricks team if i had to choose because he seems more human and still has ethics, where Shane and Andrea seem to feel like just shoot everyone not in their group. I dont know what the point of the car accident was and I dont get whats going on with the other girl who is sick now...But its all about surviving and trying to bring their kids up in this world, so we will see where they go next...i cant wait...