Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Walking Dead Episode 208, "Nebraska"

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 8: Nebraska

TV Rating


ZPAA rating

Late teen and up

Gore level

5 out of 10--Not so bad this time. Sure there are some zombies left over from the massacre; one arm falls off a truck as the corpses are carted away; some blood and gunshots.

Other offensive content

Human on human violence, including killing; a little bit of foul language; a car wreck; uber-tense scene with some newcomers; general loss of hope for everyone.

How much zombie mythology/content

Hershel gives up his idea that the zombies can be cured. It seems like that angle is done for in the show.

How much fun

The arm falling off the truck was a little bit funny. Otherwise it's a pretty tense episode following the massacre at the barn. Interesting issues are discussed but pessimism is becoming stronger in all the characters.

Synopsis & Review

We come back to season two right where we left off in November, staring down Rick's gun barrel. He's just shot the zombie Sophia after the rest of his crew took out all the other walkers in Hershel's barn. After the shock wears off, tempers start to flare.

Shane thinks he's done everyone a favor and that Hershel knew Sophia was in the barn. He goes off on Hershel who says, "Get off the farm!" It's unclear if he means Shane or everyone else too. Shane definitely thinks he's making the hard decisions that have to be made. He alternates between alienating and consoling other members of their group. He's becoming more of a loose canon.

Hershel goes a bit off the deep end. He threatens to kick Rick and company off the farm. He goes through his dead wife's things, starting to pack them up. Then he disappears, leaving behind the essential clue to where he'd gone--a drinking flask.

Rick's wife Lori is coming unglued. She tries to reassure and comfort Rick but he is not receptive. Dale tells her he thinks Shane killed Otis and is going to kill again sooner or later. Her son Carl claims he would have shot zombie Sophia in cold blood just like his dad. Can she keep it together?

Rick is becoming hardened to the situation. He implicitly accepts Shane's decision to clear out the barn but still wants to keep the peace with Hershel, if only for his and Lori's unborn child. Managing the situation seems to be going nowhere. When Hershel's young daughter passes out and seems to be in shock, he sets out to find Hershel at the local bar with Glenn's help.

Rick and Hershel have a long talk about leading people and providing them guidance and something to live for, even if they themselves no longer have any hope for the future. Rick just about has him convinced to come back to the farm when two strangers walk into the bar, causing another much more tense conversation.

All the other characters have minor bits of action or development. Tensions for everyone are mounting. Carol, Sophia's mom, seems to be going the Ophelia route, picking flowers and meandering thoughtlessly; Daryl is ready to go back to redneck loner status; Glenn is sorting out his feelings for Maggie and if he will stay on the farm or leave with Rick's people; etc. etc.

The story is going into very interesting though very dark territory. People are embracing very pessimistic attitudes. I hope at least some of them will snap out of it, but the end of the episode isn't very hopeful. I'm curious to see what will happen next.

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