Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Walking Dead Episode 207, "Pretty Much Dead Already"

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already

TV Rating


ZPAA rating

Late teen and up

Gore level

7 out of 10--Some views of the zombies in the barn; wrangling zombies stuck in the mud; gun shot massacre of zombies.

Other offensive content

Some instances of bad language; discussion of extramarital affairs and its possible results; some passionate kissing by one couple.

How much zombie mythology/content

There's a lot more discussion of the zombies as sick people who can be cured or as inhuman menaces who must be destroyed.

How much fun

This was a pretty heavy episode with lots of good drama. I might have laughed once or twice.

Synopsis & Review

Everyone finally finds out about the zombies in the barn in this episode. Glenn tells everyone in Rick's camp and the fallout puts people into positions where they make very hard decisions that will change them perhaps permanently.

Rick tries to manage the situation through reason and negotiation. Shane and others want to clear out the barn or clear out of town and head for Fort Benning. While trying to keep that from boiling over, Rick negotiates with Hershel to stay. Hershel is very reluctant. Rick finally decides to live by Hershel's rules in order to keep everyone safe. It makes him look a little crazy to Shane, but at the end of the episode Rick does what needs doing which pushes him into a dark place.

Shane is riled up and ready to fight throughout the episode. A lot of characters comment that he is really fit for this new world of the zombies. He has the ruthless practicality that should keep him alive. He also has just barely enough charisma and smarts to get people to do what he thinks is right. He's the sort of loose canon that many characters don't realize is loose because of the extraordinary situation they are in. How much further can he fly off the handle before everyone questions the value of him in the group?

Hershel has to question the validity of his world view. He says his conscience is clear about sending Rick's people away. Rick and his daughter Maggie both tell him the world and the walkers aren't what he thinks they are. For Maggie the issue is more fundamental than the nature of the zombies. There's a great moment where she challenges her father's certainty about forcing out Rick's people. She quotes Christ's command: "Love one another as I have loved you." And she backs it up with a great speech about how she was a hooligan as a teenager, especially when he remarried after her mom died. Still he taught her the right thing and lived by the unconditional love that Christ calls for. Ultimately, her concern is not about Glenn or herself or Rick's people but about what her father has been turned into. By the end of the episode he's forced to confront the danger and inhumanity of the walkers. But how will he handle it?

Meanwhile, Daryl is turning into a hero, constantly searching for Sophia in spite of his injury. He helps Carol deal with the pain of her doubt and loss, especially at the end of the episode. He's becoming more upright as other characters move towards the darkness.

SPOILER ALERT!!! The big reveal at the end of the episode comes after Shane breaks open the barn and has almost everyone help gun down the walkers. As things quiet down, one lone, small walker comes out of the barn--Sophia. Everyone is stunned and Daryl has to hold Carol back from running up to what was her daughter. After an agonizing minute, Rick dispassionately guns down the girl point blank. END SPOILER

The episode ends with a gut wrenching twist and a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, the show won't have new episodes till February 2012, so we will have to wait for answers.

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