Monday, November 14, 2011

The Walking Dead - The Morning After

"Chupacabra" or It's freakin' barn time, y'all.

Yay! Yay! Yay!  Sadly (for me) there's lots of show to get through before the game-changing barn.  But before we get to that I'd like to share that after much prodding I've got my mom watching the show now.  She's just about done with season 1 and I'm hoping will catch up to where we're at in season 2.  That still doesn't mean she'll read my blog (she's very busy) but I'm glad I've got her on the zombie apocalypse bandwagon.

The show opens with folks stuck on the interstate at night and we soon figure out that it's a flashback because Shane has his hair.  In addition to Shane, Lori and Carl, we see Carol, Sophia and her ass of a husband, Ed who are parked nearby.  Shane and Lori wander ahead to see what's going on, leaving Carl with Carol et al.  Helicopters fly overhead and we get a look at the refugee center where everyone stuck on the highway is presumably headed.  Suddenly the choppers drop a few bombs on the refugee center and the folks on the interstate lose most of what's left of their hope. (UPDATE: I just finished Talking Dead and they clarified for me that they napalmed Atlanta but I'm guessing that's where the refugee center was that they were heading to.)

Back in present day, the RV crew is doing laundry or somesuch and I see Michael Rooker's name and get all excited for Merle and the potential for offensive redneckery.  It's so darn easy to hate that man.  There's a group discussion and a new plan is devised for finding Sophia.  Everyone, mostly in pairs, though Daryl goes off on his own with a horse, has their quadrant which should work better than the random wandering they've been doing thus far.  T-Dog makes a crack about Daryl possibly spotting the chupacabra he claimed to have seen in the early days of the campsite.  Rick scoffs at his believing in a bloodsucking dog and Daryl's response is so freaking Daryl, "Believe dead people walking around?" Touche, Daryl.  Touche.

At this moment the Emergency Alert System comes on my TV and I half expect it to warn us of the impending zombie apocalypse. It goes away and Glenn and Maggie are chatting on the porch.  Glenn is hoping for a repeat of events in the pharmacy by mentioning he has 11 condoms left.  Maggie strikes back with something along the lines of not wanting to lose an additional 11 minutes of her life.  Heh.  Poor Glenn is crestfallen at the thought of being a 'minute man' but Maggie softens a bit and I think there's more to come with these crazy kids.

Rick and Shane are paired up for their part of the search and are reminiscing about Shane's high school sexual exploits.  It's revealed that Rick was not a ladies man and in fact didn't know how to properly equate the baseball terms to sex at the time.  Shane gets a bit miffed talking about people who are dead and what's the point and life sucks and we're all going to die anyway and on and on.  I'm pissed at him for cutting the conversation short because I like getting to know these people from before life was so shitty.  Shane, you're such a downer.  He would say realist but I disagree.  There's nothing wrong with a little nostalgia as long as you aren't trying to hold onto the past in order to avoid the present.  I don't think that's what Rick was doing at all but Shane hates him so much right now he can be nothing but a real jerk to Rick.

*There's a lot of editing between what's happening with Daryl and what's going on with everyone else so I'm gonna split them up and do each separately.  
If you don't like it you can read a few sentences from each paragraph at a time.*

Daryl's enjoying his ride through the woods on the horse until it gets spooked by a snake.  Daryl falls off and the horse gets the heck out of there in a hurry.  Daryl falls down a hill to the river below and realizes he's bleeding profusely..  His blood fills the water around him and it turns out one of his arrows is stuck in his back.  He's up and around but there's some rumbling in the trees so he tries to get back up the hill.  He falls down again but got a heck of a lot further up it than I would have.  Back down in the river Merle appears over Daryl and, in the only way he knows how-by being a complete ass- is trying to encourage him to get up and get moving.  This whole conversation is a lot of Merle insulting Daryl for turning into a team player and essentially being Rick's bitch. Obviously Merle hasn't been watching the show because we see that Daryl pretty much does what he wants it just so happens that deep down he's a good guy and has nothing better to do than find Sophia.  Soon enough Daryl realizes it is not in fact Merle talking to him but a walker that's decided to chew on his boot.  Hmmm, a zombie with a foot fetish.  You just never know, I guess.  I'm hoping that he really only got boot and didn't get to Daryl's actual skin.  Daryl is up and on him in seconds and bashes the walkers head in.  He's quickly trying to load/cock/whatever his bow so he can get the other walker that's quickly approaching. He gets walker #2 just in time and then goes a little Lord of the Flies on us by cutting off their ears and making them into a fancy new necklace.  Nice.  Another attempt at the hill and more goading from Merle but Daryl makes it up this time.

Back at the farm, Glenn confronts Lori about being pregnant but the conversation gets cut short not only because Lori refuses to talk to him about it but because Rick and Shane wander up.  Rick is summoned by Hershel and it's starting to feel like going to the principal's office.  Basically Hershel thinks Rick isn't being a good leader because he doesn't have control over his people.  Daryl took his horse without asking and one of Hershel's folks joined in on the Sophia search without anyone telling Hershel.  Dude, chill.  Carol gets the idea to cook for everyone as a thank you to Hershel. He gets pissed when he sees her and Lori in his kitchen and whines about how this is the first he's hearing about any such plan. Again I say, "CHILL."  Out in the RV Glenn and Dale are chatting.  You see, Glenn suspects that the women are cycling together which he has heard can happen.  That must be the reason the women are acting weird.  Yes, Glenn, I'm sure it's that. To emphasize his point, Glenn mentions that Maggie's been acting weird too and Dale figures out they did the deed.  Dale goes off on Glenn for getting with the farmer's daughter and demands to know what on earth Glenn was thinking.  Glenn shuts him down with, "That I could die tomorrow."  Dale has no option but to give him a nod and a silent attaboy.

Meanwhile, Andrea thinks she spots a walker emerging from the woods and I can totally tell it's not.  She can't though because every time she looks through the scope of the rifle she gets JJ Abrams-level lens flare and can't see the walker's head.  The men go running for it knowing a rifle shot would alert any other walkers in the area.  They get up to the assumed walker and it's Daryl.  In Andrea's defense, he has looked better.  The men drop their weapons and are talking to Daryl to find out if he's ok.  Stupid Andrea shoots anyway. WOMEN!  Turns out she just grazed him so he's going to be alright. You know, as long as the foot-fetishizing walker didn't get any toe.

It's almost dinner time and Shane is telling Lori that she and Carl are all he cares about, blah, blah, blah.  She replies that he's just using them as an excuse  Andrea feels terrible for shooting Daryl and Dale allays her guilt with, "Don't be too hard on yourself.  We've all wanted to shoot Daryl."  At dinner I get a nice chuckle at the kids' table that includes Maggie and Glenn.  Heh.  Speaking of, they're passing notes and apparently Maggie wants some more alone time with Glenn after all.  Really this may be more of a rebellion against Hershel and I'm all for it.  Glenn passes it back to Maggie and apparently didn't do much not-passing in school because he totally gets spotted by Hershel and Dale. After most of the dishes are done Maggie opens the note to see the location Glenn has chosen for their romantic interlude.  It's gotta be better than an abandoned pharmacy, right?  NOPE!  He's picked the hayloft in the barn and Maggie gets a serious look of dread on her face.  Cut to Glenn trying to get into the barn but finding it locked up pretty tight.  He climbs up a ladder on the outside of the barn and is soon wandering around the upper level with a flashlight and blanket.  Maggie is running out of the house and into the barn like it's on fire and we soon see why.  Glenn smells something awful and shines his flashlight down below.  What's he discovers is a sizable number of walkers clumped together like undead Keystone Kops who are hungry for a little Korean. (Too much?)  Maggie gets there and says, "You weren't supposed to see this."  No. Duh.  And there I am cheering like an idiot.
I hadn't planned on comparing the first book (which is all I've read so far) with the show but there's finally a complaint that I'd like to share.  In the book Hershel is protective of his people but far less cranky and controlling.  He makes it clear that he wants Rick and the crew gone sooner rather than later which is a little surprising at the time because he had been very helpful and hospitable up until that conversation.  Then they find out that he's been housing walkers in his barn which is a shocker to everyone.  TV Hershel is a pain in the arse and I'm less surprised at his odd behavior.  I'm thinking in the next episode he'll explain his motives (for the barn dwellers) to the group so I'll let him do that for you.  But I will say that book Hershel is a bit more hopeful and naive than TV Hershel who just seems like a control freak who needs to control absolutely everything around him, even the occasional walker.

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