45 min., 2011
Written by David Leslie Johnson
Directed by Guy Ferland
My rating: ★★★★
No Mexicans were filmed in the making of this episode.
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Sheriff Rick Grimes after waking from a coma, finding his family and a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. He attempts to lead his family and survivors to safety at Fort Bennett after the CDC and its lone scientist are destroyed, but are sidetracked searching for Sophia.
The following review is rated SIN (Sincerely Intrigued Negro), it contains several rants that appear at random. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person of African-American descent who has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics and has been molested by a clown. Feel free to skip certain paragraphs, if you simply want a recap and continued review of the episode. Hipster, child, feline and vegan discretion is advised.
First off, let me just say for anyone unfamiliar with my reviews, they are not just my lofty opinions, they are also full episode recaps. So like a well-seasoned prostitute, I usually take things blow by blow and sprinkle my thoughts in here and there. So, needless to say, (but I am saying it anyway) this episodes’ got spoilers.
The search for Carol’s daughter Sophia continues for yet another day a little more organized after Maggie gave Rick the survey map last episode and they have been able to grid their search. Rick and Shane are out searching together again and they have a buddy buddy moment where Rick is trying to get him to talk by asking him about women he’s banged in high school. All this is going well until Shane realizes that those women are all likely walkers by now. Shane pretty much ends up reading Rick the riot act for continuing to waste time and manpower searching for a girl that was likely a zombie appetizer within the first 48 hours she went missing. Rick’s need to find her and erase the feeling he’s failed her is all consuming while Shane’s calculated approach, cold as it is, makes a helluvalot more sense.
Glenn has been hitting on Maggie and despite their game of “hide the wang” at the grocery, she seems distant and disinterested. The thing that sorta bugs me here is that it begs the question in a real world situation where all the world is coming to the end could you get laid if you were literally the last man on Earth. I mean, if you can’t get laid during the apocalypse, what chance would you stand during normal circumstances? Anyhow, to kind of get back on track, she shoots Glenn down. Glenn runs into Lori, who now knows thanks to him getting that pregnancy test she is with child. She still hasn’t told Rick and this has put Glenn in a hell of an awkward position.
Daryl is still sticking to his loner routine and goes out to search the high ground for Sophia. For some reason, Daryl must be afflicted with perpetual dumb luck. He was the first one to be able to track her, the first to find a house nearby where she was likely staying and is now the first to find her doll on a river bank. As he tries to get to higher ground and survey the area, his horse gets spooked by a snake, falls down a hill, breaks his crown with his crossbow tumbling after. As is cliché for all badasses, whether it’s Stalone, Schwarzenegger, or little ole Daryl here, those lone wolf reluctant hero types always get themselves shot or impaled at some point during their little escapades. With an arrow lodged in his side and a seriously steep incline to traverse in order to get back to the road, he seems pretty well screwed. As he attempts to climb back the top just to end up cascading back down the hill, it would seem Merle would agree he is screwed in the form of a hallucination. I hate when a show brings back a character you love or even a character you love to hate with some weak ass reason behind it. It’s always them being drummed up in a flashback or it turns out they have a twin brother. And if not that, you see them in some sort of a vision quest as an apparition or the old reliable “even though you saw me killed before your very eyes it was all staged to protect you routine.” As much as I wanted to believe this character had disappeared on a purely temporary basis, it seems I was sadly mistaken. For those of you that are fans of the comics, there had been rumors circulating that Merle will actually be returning to the show next season as “the governor.” Even though this is another stark deviation from the source material, I am willing to accept it on the basis that the other changes they have made so far have only really served to enhance the overall story rather than ruin or detract from it. Back to the review…
Hershel feels like his boundaries are being walked all over since Rick’s people are using his kitchen to make a meal for a moment, Daryl took his horse without permission, and his son went out with them after lying to Rick saying Hershel approved. Glenn goes to Dale for some advice about Maggie since she has been giving him the cold shoulder. When Andrea starts yelling about their being a walker, she wants to shoot it while Rick and Shane quibble for a minute over Hershel having the right to deal with the walkers when it’s on his property. With the threat still approaching, all the men minus Dale go running to meet the walker head on just to find Daryl bloody, dirty, and fatigued. They all breathe a sigh of relief when Daryl cracks wise until Andrea nails him with a head shot. With Daryl beaned but not dead, Hershel patches him up, Dale consoles Andrea, and they go on to a silent and exceedingly tense dinner. Glenn tries to break the ice by asking if anyone can play the guitar that Dale found just to be slapped in the face by the news that Otis was the only one that could play the guitar. Can you say awkward, cuz I can! It would seem by the note that Maggie passes him under the table that she is ready for round two of the hump-Olympics; he just needs to define where. Hershel catches him passing back the note to reply so Maggie holds off reading it til later. Shane and Rick have words again after they have made sure Daryl is patched up and bedded down for the night. Despite the doll being found, and it strengthening Ricks resolve, Shane seems even more sure they it’s a fluke and they’re just wasting more time. Once Rick is out of earshot, Lori checks Shane by telling him he isn’t making any tough decisions by pulling up stakes and calling off the search. Despite him telling her that he doesn’t care about protecting anyone but her and Carl she reminds him that is no longer his job. Carol lets Daryl know that he is just good as any other member of the group in her eyes and that he did more in one day for Sophia than her father did for her his whole life. It looked as though with her statement his face softened a bit and you could see those inner demons manifested earlier by his brother being chased back somewhat.
Maggie finally gets around to reading where Glenn wants to meet her so they can make whoopee just to run off in terror when she finds out it’s the hayloft of the barn. Glenn makes his way up the side of the barn and that look of eager anticipation turns to a dour expression of horror when he scents rotting flesh on the air and looks down to see the barn is full of zombies. Maggie lets him know he wasn’t supposed to see that confirming this isn’t news to her and on that note the episode ends.
One of the drawbacks of this episode it that it is not set up to work well as a standalone. It seems more serialized, at least to me. I mean they take the time to give back story during certain scenes of dialogue but there are still places where you would be lost if you hadn’t watched the previous episode. As usual, the dialogue rings true. The interactions seem natural and consistent not to mention the soldier of fortune routine Daryl went through gave you a good look at his insecurities and glimpse into the dynamic between him and his brother. I have to say I enjoyed this overall, I just couldn’t enjoy it by itself. I highly recommend it but make sure you catch the beginning of season 2 first. I’ll catch you all at the next review season 2 episode 6; Secrets and no I don’t mean the gentlemen’s club in Joliet. Until then, may all your films bring fright.Have You Read...?