The Walking Dead Review: Picking up the Pieces

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It's felt like forever since The Walking Dead aired its dramatic midseason finale, doesn't it?

There's just something about this particular series that, even with its flaws, remains thrillingly entertaining and something I look forward to every Sunday. In other words: damn, it's nice to have it back.

"Nebraska" took no time picking up exactly where the last episode, dealing mostly with the aftermath of last year's shooting.

Rick and Hershel Photo

Of course, that meant that everyone was distraught... except for Shane, who huffed and puffed his way around the farm trying to justify his actions. There is certainly a directness attached to some of his brash craziness, but whether his decisions were right or wrong, they've made a further case for his alienation from everyone else.

I can only predict bad things for Shane's future, from either mentally jumping in the deep end or becoming an extreme danger that forces someone to put him down. And if people start questioning his story about Otis after Dale throws doubt on to his so-called truth, Shane will have more to deal with than Walkers in the backyard.

Carol and Hershel were most affected by the barn massacre, considering their loved ones came stumbling out. It makes perfect sense to see them distance themselves from the others and take their frustrations out on either the plants or a bottle of alcohol.

Scott Wilson continues to do a marvelous job as Hershel Greene, giving him the perfect combination of anger and calm. His character has never been over-the-top acting wise, even when his thoughts and ideas have been. Yet seeing Hershel in the bar, sulking in his discontent while standing up to Rick about the situation, raised the uneasiness between the two factions. He is a great addition to the series.

But the best moment of the episode was the introduction of two new characters and the reinvigoration of suspense on the show.

With scenes like the awkwardly uncomfortable bar standoff between Rick, Hershel, Glenn and the new strangers, it stands to prove that zombies don't have to be at every turn to cause great drama. I loved the way that the conversation was filled with a tension underneath the playful and friendly discussion. And even though viewers hadn't had any chance to really get to know these new guys, the actors did a great job in providing a dangerous and threatening vibe.

Still, it was truly shocking that Rick just flat out shot them both.

Rick may still be determined to protect and save everyone in his group, but the man has slowly changed. There was a coldness in his eyes when he did the deed and it seems that the more kills he racks up, the more numb he becomes to the action. If anything, it's clear that Rick isn't stuck on just talking things out anymore and is willing to kill regular people to keep everything okay for him and his group. Frankly, I think it surprised even Glenn.

It truly is interesting to see what a person becomes in a world where survival is key.

My one real problem with the episode was Lori deciding to go after Rick. Why would she even need to? Rick is pretty capable of taking care of himself and it seemed unnecessary for her to take a car and go. I'm not surprised she got into an accident because it seems like when characters go off on their own, they find someway to get themselves practically killed. It just seemed like a poor plot device to add unnecessary drama, but I guess we will see where it takes us.

The story hasn't really progressed any further, but there were obvious character developments from the aftermath and no matter what, they needed to be addressed. I'm glad there was no time jump to avoid what happened, but I'm hoping that after learning that Fort Benning has been overrun with zombies, the group decides its next course of action and follows through.

I'm ready to be done with the farm. Let's reinstate the pulse-pounding thrills and tension that surrounded the characters from the beginning. Time to get back on the road and go forward.


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

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


liked the review and the episode for the possibility that they will not be able to stay on the farm since the group the Philly guys were from are going to be looking for them. I just have a question about this farm thing: why can't Rick's group find another farm to settle? How long would it take to find an empty farm and secure it with fencing? They would conceivably have generators and animals and drinking water wells.


@Tanya I agree with you wholeheartedly! Out of all the characters, I am getting tired of how annoying and whiny Lori and Andrea are being. And Shane is so over the top with everything he does! I can't help but say ugh every time I see him on the screen. I too wish a zombie attack would claim those 3 soon!!


Was a good episode. After half a season of (more or less) walking around the woods looking for Sophia it felt very fresh. Warning possible Spoiler Alerts from Comics below: I would say I hope they don't introduce The Governor/Woodbury survivors until Season 3. As it is that story arch needs a whole season since it is the best storyline from the comics. Hope with those two surviors Rick killed they aren't going to introduce them as part of the Governors band of survivors prematurely.


Carl - Not much to say. I'm glad they don't include him as much as they could. Something about seeing tramatic things happen to children on a constant basis bothers me. Original Farm Crew - Hershel is awesome. I see where he is coming from but, the man is broken. Maggie slapping the crap out of Shane was a great moment. This is exactly what any daughter would do if a virtual stranger was up in their fathers face after something like the BaMa. I was sad to see Ottis (Pruitt Taylor Vince) killed off after only 2 episodes. I really like the guy as an actor. Overall this is a great show and I cant stand the wait between each new episode!


T-Dog - Again I agree with others that as of right now he is more an extra than a member of the cast. Glenn - I like how his character is changing but, he still stays pretty solid on his core values and allows himself to be conflicted between the saftey of the group and the woman he might be falling in love with. Andrea - I hope the barn massacre doesnt set her back. Sure she slept with Shane but, he was the only one allowing and teaching her to be more self sufficient. He showed an interest in her when everyone else said "keep the guns from the crazy bitch!"


Daryl - Is a product of his environment. Criminal/racist/sexist brother and most likely parents. You see this in RL as well. A child will follow the example that has been set down in front of him but, you take him away from that environment and they can become better. While he will never be the lovey dovey nice guy he will grow into a secondary leader. Dale - Hmmm. I think we may find out that Dale has plenty of secrets. Lori - She's hard to peg. And I agree with others that the writers need to flesh her out better. Her character is lacking substance.


Shane - PTSD from hell. No one has mentioned that he had any violent tendencies before this so we can surmise that the ZomAp has fundimentally changed him. He is also a coward when no one is looking. My hope is that the writers forget about the graphic novels on him and are able to bring him around. That or have him go off on his own and do a cut-to or two during each episode showing what he is up to. Rick - A rock/natural leader. He has changed as well but, not to the extremes that Shane has. He saw a valid threat to the people he is leading/protecting and he dealt with it the best possible way.


To everyone saying they would do this or do that if they were them, I say really? You're just like armchair quarterbacks. No one knows what they would do or become in the types of situations on TWD. We've never had anything remotely similar happen in RL. So keep saying that things arent realistic and I'll keep just enjoying the show. From a military perspective (5 years ARMY with deployments in a combat MOS) I can form my own opinions about the characters.


Rick shooting those guys...Shane sacrificing Otis to get those . Both doing it for the good of the group doesn't make it easier. I like Shane; you could tell his decision weighs heavy on his heart. Rick's probably won't as much because he has a witness to what he did and why. Though Dale guessed, he's being an a$$h0le about it. @ArleneG - the seat belt, I thought the same thing! "How dorky is that? Damn heffa, yo' man's only been gone 10 seconds, you carrying a baby, got two sick kids in the house, chill. In fact, everyone's like 'OMG, Where's Hershel?!?' but no one cares about Lori's whereabouts. Talk about cold. Stone cold."



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The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

There is no hope and you know it now, like I do, don't you? There is no hope for any of us.


This isn't about what we believe anymore. It's about them.