Now that’s a little more like it.
Even though we’ve been complaining all season about the “stand around and talk about things” style of storytelling this season, when we say “that’s more like it,” we don’t actually mean the more action-oriented stuff we got this time around. Believe it or not, we’re talking about the talking.
Which isn’t to say the more tense of the scenes in town weren’t very welcome. They were; and it was mainly because the show’s finally getting around to one of the major themes of the book: the walkers aren’t the most dangerous thing in this world; other people are. There was a definite “Oh, shit” moment when the friends of the two guys Rick just Greedo’d showed up, sounding less like homicidal maniacs and more like a bunch of dudes looking for their fellow dudes. Chances are, that never would have been the case, but those scenes were nicely played, as Rick tried to figure out a way to defuse the situation, instead of just blasting away at random strangers. Granted, it made Rick look pretty stupid, effectively saying, “Look, we killed your buddies, but let’s just walk away and forget it, okay?” Then again, we’re used to seeing members of the Grimes family do and say totally idiotic things.
On that note, is it awful of us to admit that we were disappointed Lori flipped a car and managed to walk away from it? We suppose we should be happy we’re not going to be treated to endless scenes of Rick crying over her bed or crying over her grave, but it was a little silly how unhurt she was. And you have to be a pretty big bitch to have Shane come off as the reasonable one in your argument.
Andrea said something about Shane that’s very true: the things he does are, for the most part, understandable given the situation. Even the killing of Otis, repugnant as it was, had a sort of moral sense to it. His problem is that he acts like a total maniac in front of everyone and that he’s scaring them all. Now, why Andrea seems okay with all of this hasn’t really been explained, except that she doesn’t seem to think Rick is doing all that great a job. And frankly, we can’t blame her. This is somewhat frustrating and confusing to the viewer, because Shane is being written like a “shades of grey” character, but he’s being played (to the HILT) like a dangerous maniac. It’s nice to see a character actually address this dichotomy, but we sure would love to hear an explanation for it, other than bad writing or directing.
This is why we enjoyed all the talking scenes this episode. It was because people were finally talking about something new; about things that have relatable consequences and understandable emotional fallout. We all sat politely through their Sophia grief, not feeling one tear, but when it looks like the group’s going to start dividing itself up according to who can lead them better? Sign us up. That’s classic Jack vs. Locke stuff – and if it’s done well, it could save this story from the doldrums it’s in. If nothing else, it finally gave Lori something to work with other than “whiny, bitchy, lazy stupid wife.” Now she’s Lady MacBeth, urging her man on to murder on her behalf. That’s something we can sink our teeth into. It’s about time everyone in this group started acting in less-than moral and admirable ways all the time. It’s way past time for that to happen, in fact. And we’re looking forward to Shane’s reaction when he figures out how much the supposedly saintly Grimeses have turned to the dark side. We hope he gives them hell for being hypocrites.
But if Lori wanted to spur her husband on to killing Shane, why not just say “He tried to rape me in the CDC. That’s what those scratches on his neck were all about?” Again: The Grimeses: not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Put a gun and a drink in Herschel’s hands and he becomes a much more likable character, it seems. We’re glad he didn’t linger on his grief and such. He seems too pragmatic for that and he’s finally come face to face with how feral and hopeless this world really is, not only giving his blessing to killing two men, but getting off a shot of his own. That’s a far cry from the feeble-headed man who was keeping a zoo of walkers in his barn. Of course, we still don’t give a shit about whoever that sick girl is, but at least we got confirmation that she’s Maggie’s sister. Maggie’s slowly turning into the only female character who’s likeable. Andrea’s nuts, Carole’s a doormat, Lori’s Lady Macbeth. How refreshing to see a female who’s competent, brave, strong, and loving, all at the same time. Makes us wonder why the writers are having such a hard time with the other women. Still, we have to admit, we’re not all that interested in the Glenn and Maggie romance. By all means, proceed, but endlessly talking about it in the kitchen is pretty dull.
But with the new guy on the farm (and presumably, the larger group he came from wandering around the county somewhere), things have gotten a lot more interesting. Add in Lori’s scheming and Andrea’s teaming up with Shane to take control of the group and things are cooking in a way they haven’t been for quite some time.
Now can we please just get the hell off this farm?
[Photo Credit: AMC]