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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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
  • 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.

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    Maybe it was just me but I thought Lori decided to leave to find Rick and Hershel because Hershel's daughter Beth had fell into that catatonic state. Maybe as a way to repay Hershel for saving Carl by trying to use his daughter as a reason to hang on to hope, and to show that her group does care and appreiate Hershel and his family. It was still ridiculous for her to go off alone without telling anyone, and drive with her eyes on a map.

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    I have one question: How can i get that hour of my life back? BORING!

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    @RaineyCat I think they would be used to the smell by now. It's like if you have a smelly house, everybody else smells your stink except you...

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    I couldn't agree more about getting off the farm. It's been a little tedious the last few episodes and I was disappointed they hadn't packed up by the end of this one. While I'm not in need of zombie gore, a little zombie suspense in unfamiliar surroundings would be nice.

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    I don't think Rick is getting cold. I think he showed what he has been all along - solid as a rock. He did everything he could to keep from shooting, until they drew on him. Once they did, he did what he had to do. What I think is great in that scene is that it obviously showed Rick as a protector from external threats, but also showed what Shane would be like - becoming just like Dave and Tony - if not for Rick (so far).

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    I enjoyed your article. Wish there was a like button because I'd like to give Naomi a thumbs up. She posted my thoughts exactly.

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    This was a good episode. mainly, I was just glad the show was back and can't wait for next week's episode. I thought Rick did what he had to do. The guy behind the bar was about to shoot him and the other had already talked about doing it. Perhaps he was a little colder than normal in dispatching the two, wspecially considering thery weren't walkers. And that might have been because of an extra level of harness brought on by Shane's bverbal pounding. I agree that Lori going off to find Rick and the others was a bit contrived. Chalking it up to her just being crazy is a little weak (hormones?, I think. According to the description of the next epi, Shane goes off to try to rescue Lori, which makes me gag. I can't stand Shane and I would not find it boring in the slighest if that character was done away with. I don't anyone is safe around him, expect maybe Lori and Carl. I expect he and Rick are headed for a big showdown of some kind.

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    im suprised there wasnt a mention of hershels daughter beth falling out. Does no one else think she could have been infected when her zombie mom attacked her? I mean she could have a bite the rest dont know about she is does seem to be having the syptoms of a infected person. As far as lori they wont kill her off but i have to say the women on this show dont do much for a womans image on surving a zombie apocolypse. They make women seem aggravating unuseful and more part of the problem then a solution. Dale is getting aggravating too the only reason he has started hating shane so much is beacause andrea shows interest in him and dale is jealous. And go darryl for saying what you said to lori i had to laugh when he called her olive oyle

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    So what causes Rick and crew to leave the farm? Could it be Dave and Tony's friends?

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    Excellent review! And some of the same observations I had as well..."take their frustrations out on either the plants"..."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".
    And, as far as Lori is concerned, I can't stand her so was it wrong for me to cheer when her car rolled over? Idiot. And, hello, it's the zombie apocalypse but you still feel the need to wear your seatbelt?!? Of course, I know the writers will use that as an excuse to save her life but hopefully that'll put an end to the pregnanacy crap.