Mon
Mar 19 2012 11:00am

The Walking Dead S2, E12, Finale: “Behind the Dying Fire”

With “Behind the Dying Fire” we’ve come to the end of another bumpy season of The Walking Dead. There have been a few high points, a decent amount of mediocre points, and a half ton of crappy points. But we survived more or less intact, if not short a few members and a little shy of sane. Much like our motley crew. So, how did it all go down? When the final credits rolled, did the show manage to keep up its winning streak?

Yep. Sorta. Kinda. I mean, well... *sigh*

Rick and Carl led the mass horde of walkers back to the farm and decided that the best course of action was to burn down a barn and everyone else at the farm be damned. Meanwhile the rest formulated a ridiculous plan that not surprisingly fell apart about two seconds after they got onto the field. Chaos ensued. Everyone went running every which way, some of Hershel’s kin were eaten alive, and Andrea was abandoned. Poor forgotten Andrea went on walkabout in the backwoods and nearly met her maker a few times. The rest of the group magically reappeared simultaneously at Sophia’s forgotten supplies stash and then went on a drive in a random direction (T-Dog muttered something about heading east, as if arriving in a heavily populated coastal area will be the answer to all their problems) until they - more accurately Rick - ran out of gas, leaving them seemingly stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Did I mention that a badass with pet zombies and samurai swords showed up and saved Andrea? Because they did. And that was awesome. So very, very awesome.

Look, without rehashing every single argument I’ve made before about the problems the show has with creating realistic - or even just moderately believable - scenarios, not campy dialogue, and characters with actual personalities, it’s really difficult to break down the finale. I know we were supposed to be upset that the gang was forced off the idyll of Hershel’s farm, but, frankly, I’m glad to see it go. Just as glad as I was when they moved off the snore factory that was the highway. They can’t go back and rebuild; that farm is over and done.

My bigger concern is that they get to that place behind the dying fire (it appears to be a prison...) and end up spending another half season talking about broken groups and civilized societies. With Dale and Shane dead, Andrea MIA, Rick doing his best impersonation of Jack from The Shining, Carol taking over Lori’s role as the group cipher, T-Dog saying stuff, and the emergence of a mysterious hooded figure, the group dynamics are certainly more in flux than before. It’ll be much harder to settle back into the old routine. Not that I don’t have faith the writers will still figure out the best ways to piss me off. So here’s hoping burning the barn to the ground is the fresh start the writers need to get themselves back on track.

As for the characters in this bloody little melodrama, man, I just don’t know where to begin. Okay, we get it, Glenn and Maggie sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G . Cute, sweet, blahblahblah. Glenn summoned the courage to open his heart. So? What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? That, what, they’re going to stick together and keep having sex? Yeah, and? Or take Lori and Carol. Lori spent all but the last three eps opposing every opinion regardless of what it was or what “beliefs” she claimed to hold not five minutes before. Irritatingly, she only seems to care about her son’s whereabouts once she’s already lost him. Maybe if she wasn’t just the absolute worst she’d keep better track of him in the first place. Carol didn’t even exist except to wail aimlessly about finding Sophia. Now both chicks have gone full on Lady Macbeth, Lori on Rick and Carol on Daryl, and now I totally hate them both. Lori used the same reasoning on Rick to convince him to kill Shane that Rick used to justify his murder and she has the gall to be repulsed by him. And yes, Carol, you are a burden. You are nothing but a waste of resources. Maybe if you, I dunno, did something useful instead of doing the lamest running away from zombies ever recorded on television people wouldn’t look down on you so much.

Speaking of the devil, good job, Rick. He had everyone on his team and then turned around and morphed into Shane. I get his transformation. His best friend tried to kill him. He murdered his best friend in cold blood. His son shot his best friend. Their paradise went up in flames and blood. People died. Everything’s gone to shit. It stands to reason that he’d grow colder. It’s an interesting turn, although given what is coming in season 3 (WINTER IS COMING) I’m not sure how long they can sustain it as anything other than a redemption arc. In which case: lame. Rick also revealed what Jenner whispered to him at the CDC in the finale of season 1, that they already carry the contagion. I don’t understand why he kept mum about it. It’s something important enough that they should’ve known. He gained nothing by keeping it secret, and lost so much when it finally came out. They would’ve figured it out themselves eventually anyway.

At least T-Dog had some lines again. I really like that dude. The man who hasn’t been allowed any lines for nearly two whole seasons actually has a personality. Who’da thunk it?

Also, shut up Carl. You are stupid and stop talking and go away.

Final thoughts:

  • “It’s my farm. I’ll die here.” “Alright. It’s as good a night as any.”
  • “We’re alive. We made it. Okay, I’m sure they are too.”
  • “Christ promised a resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something a little different in mind.”
  • “I just wanted it over. I wanted him dead. I killed him.”
  • “This isn’t a democracy anymore.”
  • I jumped the gun last week and forgot that the TV characters didn’t yet know that you get turned when you die, not just when you get bit.
  • Hey, TWD writers, cut it out with the time jump cold opens. DO NOT WANT.
  • Um, so the believability of a swarm of zombies just wandering around because of a random helicopter makes less sense than the zombies getting freed when the mud dries up (a la the comics). But it is certainly more interesting to watch.
  • Ah, the irony. Hershel barricaded the hell out of that barn to keep the zombies in and now Rick and Carl are trapped inside.
  • Those people are the greatest sharpshooters in the world. Not only can a kid hit Shane in the head with a handgun from 50 yards, but the rest of the gang can get a dozen headshots while speeding around in the dark on uneven ground hanging out of car windows.

Alex Brown is a research librarian by day, writer by night, and all around geek who watches entirely too much TV. One of these days she will go out and have a life, but until then she’s just going to sit here and watch Jonathan Creek reruns, so there. You can follow her on Twitter if you dare.

24 comments
Robert H. Bedford
1. RobB
Lori hadn't annoyed me too much before this final episode, but her reaction (which was a complete 180 from her prevoius discussion with Rick about Shane) made me want to reach into the TV and punch her.

Carol brings nothing to the table except complaints, when the ENTIRE group was driven by trying to find her daughter. Did she ever say thank you to Rick or the group for trying to find Sophia? Lori at least did that to Shane-o before she set him up for his final step on the descent to insanity stair-case.
treebee72 _
2. treebee72
I'm done. It took massive willpower to not turn the show off during the Rick/Lori scene of absolutely no sense. I did have a 1/2 second thrill when the sword wielder showed, but then remembered this show is crap with characters & have no desire to see how badly they frell up that one.
Improbable Joe
3. Improbable Joe
Team Alcoholics Anonymous!

... I've really got to stop watching this show drunk.

You could power a whole fortified prison through the winter if you could somehow harness Lori's spinning a 180 every time someone talks to her. "Save Carl let him die save him ignore him while he plays in the woods alone all day and night most of you have to die to SAVE CARL!!" Or "Rick, Shane is dangerous go kill Shane how could you do that?!?!" and "Shane, the baby might be yours will never be yours and you're a loyal friend stay leave stop trying to rape me stay you're awesome don't go LEAVE!" I think it was my wife who decided that Lori has Borderline Personality Disorder. Looked it up, damned if it doesn't fit.

Carl got everyone killed again, yay. He's so awesome, and I love the way he's constantly pouting and making bold declarations about what they should do, based on the fact that HE KEEPS GETTING EVERYBODY KILLED!!!

Dale just died within sight of the house, eaten by a crocodile, and now their prisoner has escaped and may be looking for his friends who already tried to kill some of them once. Moves pretty fast for someone with a metal fence thing shoved completely through his leg a couple of days ago, but that's beside the point. The point is that there are zombies and bad guys with guns, and your people are wandering the woods at night, and the only one keeping watch is Carl. I guess when Dale died, the task of sitting on the RV and keeping a lookout fell to nobody, and nobody noticed. I wish more of them had died, meaning Carol and Carl and Lori and that other girl whose name no one knows who cries a lot, plus maybe Rick and Hershel too. I like Glenn and Maggie and Daryl and Token and Andrea, so they can live I guess... Andrea needs to stop sucking on lemons and Daryl should lend Token a couple of cool lines.

Speaking of which, T-Dog made the most sense this episode. Between the "let's run the f*** away!" speech and then NOT taking part in the fireside "do we let Rick keep being captain of the football team" conversation, I really felt like his character is taking off to new and exciting places, namely the inside of a walker's belly three episodes into next season. After all, once it is revealed that the scary hooded figure is *spoilers*

a black chick!

/*spoilers*

... there will be no more need for T-Dog anymore.
Improbable Joe
4. JBH
Ok...so I do understand the author's complaints. But who ever said that just because a person doesn't carry a gun or chew bubble gum/kick ass (and I'm all out of bubble gum) isn't deemed worthy to live within this fictional universe? The ghost in Hamlet doesn't really shoot Japanese throwing stars out of his eyes yet that ghost is very much the propelling feature of that play. In fact, without the ghost Hamlet would just be a story of a nutty guy yelling and moping a lot.

I do find that Lori's character seems to be at cross-roads emotionally and it could well be argued that either 1) the acting or 2) the writing is a bit "off" for her character. However, I love the duplicity of her character and the mistrust that she seeds. That seems to be very well done.

The Zombie Apocalypse keeps all kinds alive, including the hapless and the stupid. Sometimes they get their comeuppance and sometimes they survive by the skin of their teeth. Hell, Andrea was saved by a KEWL looking ninja badass in a hooded cape. A close call, right? But for all of Andrea's subversive chatter with Shane about ditching the group she DID manage to dispatch an entire horde of Walkers before being saved. Although I find her character rather morally ambivalent I do admire her spunk. So is she just useful to the story because she can handle a gun? No, she also provides a moral center that we have to respect as viewers.

No story would be worth spit if you didn't have characters with a moral core. A den of sneaky thieves is just really un-compelling story telling. But characters airing moral grievances allows the viewer to 1) latch onto that character because of a similar believe system or 2) disassociate from that character because of a dissimilar belief system. So we need the Carols and the T-Dawgs. Their seemingly minor contributions balance the overly macho Rick and Shane sausage-fest from exploding into an unrequited testosterone pissing match.

To sum: I dig where the series is going. I also really appreciate the "down" moments of the series because that is what helps kindle my appreciation of all the characters - especially Daryl because he's multi-faceted and in a similar vein, the heady moralistic tone that Dale imparted. It's because of Dale's passion that I believe we all sense the struggle that all characters are beginning to experience: can we keep our humanity in tact amidst all of this killing - especially when confronted by those with whom we disagree?

Now THAT'S a pretty groovy theme.
Alex Brown
5. AlexBrown
SPOILERS!

Since both Michonne (http://bit.ly/FQ0JXk) and the Governor (http://bit.ly/x78ZxU) are scheduled for next season, it seems likely that they'll have to cut the season in two - spending the first half in the prison and the second at Woodbury - if they want to make it all work at least close-ish to the comics.

Also, The Mary Sue (http://bit.ly/FOf9tY) has a great article about this newcomer and their comic book origin story coming to Playboy, and why that's the exact opposite of a good thing.

BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMMENTING
James Whitehead
6. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I enjoyed the finale but do agree it was a little uneven. I figure Lori went off her meds months ago or the writers are employing that fanfic favourite where everyone involved gets to write for Lori - without reading previous dialogue obviously.

I actually watched the 'live' aftershow infomercial. One thing struck me as the host, whose name escapes me, was talking to Kirkman was the fact that Kirkman kept going on how great Season 3 was going to be. All 'uber' & the like. Just wondered if in his hurry to get to season three, he lost sight of the first two seasons.

Kato

PS - Also, what happens to Carl when the group, whatever is left of it, realises he's the group's cursed tiki amulet? It's one thing when you ruin T-Dog's surfing chances, another when your actions bring down the z-herds on everyone.
Alex Brown
7. AlexBrown
@RobB: It was more dramatic to have Lori slowly back away during Rick's Big Reveal, but it was absolutely awful. All it did was reconfirm that she's the worst and wash away any burgeoning feelings of "she's not so bad after all" that the last few eps have inspired.

@treebee: Sorry to see you give up on the show. I had those desires a few times this season, but the good bits are just good/interesting enough to keep me going. The show may not know how to do characters or drama, but they've got horror and action down, and I can fill in the rest of the blanks from the comics. But yes, it is soooo frustrating.

@Improbable: You hit the nail on the head with Lori there. SPOILERS I suspect they're going to turn T-Dog into Tyrese. It's the only logical reason for keeping him around. Especially since his character doesn't exist in the comics. T-Dog, Tyrese, makes a kind of annoying sense. END SPOILERS

@JBH: My complaints are more or less the same as every other critics' complaints, namely that TWD doesn't know how to do character driven drama. And since that's their bread and butter, they need to figure it out and fast. No one is saying that different kinds of people surviving is bad for the zombie apocalypse. Heck, I want to see MORE different kinds of people. The more varied the better! I don't hate Carol because she's ineffectual, I hate her because she doesn't exist at all on screen except to whine. That may be realistic, but it makes for really crappy television. And that's what TWD is - fiction, not a documentary.

Lori's character IS SUPPOSED to be at a moral crossroads, but save the last three eps she hasn't had a personality outside of opposing everything because the writers needed to create conflict. And you don't build a person by letting them wax philosophical for 13 episodes. There has to be more to it than that. Take Glenn and Andrea's conversation in the RV last week: that was wonderful because we got to see them just being people. I felt like I learned more about them then than I had in the whole series. In fact, if you read my review, you'll find that I love T-Dog almost as much as I love Daryl, and both of them offer dissenting views to Rick and have pretty awesome personalities (when the latter is actually given lines). So you seem to be arguing my case for me, but with the added twist that you see personalities and characterizations where it hasn't been provided. But that's fine with me.

@Kato: Season 2 really should've happened in the first 6, maybe 10 episodes. There was no reason it had to go on as long as it did. The farm and the highway were transitional states. They were out of the city for the first time and trying to figure out how to survive in the end of times, but just because it's an important theme doesn't mean it needed to ground the season or be total snoresville.

But yes, overall I did like the season finale. It fell short of the goodness of the last few eps, but from what I've gathered from interviews and Internet commenting, the writers are aware of the suckiness of the past 2 seasons and are actively trying to address that in number 3. The finale was part of a larger trend of improvement that I hope will continue to grow. There is a really great show in TWD, the writers just need to find it.
Bill Capossere
8. Billcap
As I keep saying, the show giveth and the show taketh and. Oh wait. No, not so much the giving. This one was the Worst. One. Yet.

It’s hard to watch an episode like this and honestly think the writers give a damn. The entire drama is predicated upon the forced evacuation of the farm, but from start to finish that evacuation is only one idiot plot after idiot plot. Last week we wondered where the zombie horde came from, now it appears what, they followed a helicopter? Because a noise makes them give us the meat they’re eating that moment? And no other noise between the time they started heading in that straight line and the time they arrived at the farm made them head in a different direction? And if all it takes is a loud noise to move them away from actually feeding on prey, seems that to distract them from “potential” prey you just get in your trucks, drive away, shoot some rifles in the air, then quietly circle back once they’re on the straight-line path away from you. Done and done.

Once they arrive, and the group decides to do the idiot thing and hang around to kill them rather than lure them away or just wait for them to leave (doesn’t “migrating” as they say is happening by definition mean “moving along”?), they do so by getting in cars and speeding/shooting around in maniacal circles cuz it’s “dramatic”. The silliness of this is only made clear when watch Darryl quietly drive, park, shootshootshoot then drive park shootshootshoot.

But of course, not everybody gets in a car. No, far better to fragment the group, put some in cars so people can’t get together quickly, and leave the ones outside the cars without guns. Seriously, nobody even tries to hand any of those people a gun before hopping in the car?
Other rules for cars in zombie apocalypses:
1) park your waiting car as far away as possible
subrule a : when crossing to said car, don’t look to see if there are any zombies, don’t run, don’t have a weapon, don’t send one person to get the car and pick the rest up
2) when driving, come to a complete stop and be surprised when the zombies can open a door
3) never ever use your car as a weapon; you might dent it
4) being in a car speeding over non-paved paths at night automatically improves your aim

And why isn’t everyone in a car at the start? Cuz some are searching the house—the house!—for Carl as if he doesn’t know that screams and gunshots and cars starting up might mean it’s time to stop whacking off in the far bathroom (and later they think he’s wandering the woods as if he can’t hear gunshots or see giant flames shooting into the sky).

And of course, make sure not to pick a meet-up spot (like say, the far end of the driveway.) if they have to leave Or, you know, just driving off a quarter mile or so away and waiting In Plain Sight of the others (speaking of which, since when were there fifty roads off the farm?). No, to get away from this zombie horde overrunning the “yard”, somehow you have to drive miles away, making sure to take lots of turns and never stopping so you can’t find out if anyone left, oh, 30 seconds behind you. Nor can you drive out of the horde a few hundred yards and honk the horn or shoot a few rifles in the air as a signal. Or do it in a few hours or the next morning to see if the people who disappeared are still around.

As for Lori’s “response” in the scene with Rick, seldom has so much bad writing been expressed in such silence.

This whole episode was pretty much an insult to the viewer. My only hope for next season—and after nearly turning off this show for the first time despite all my prior frustration I’m giving them two-episode window—is that their already-written scripts got tossed in the barnfire. Just ugh.
Improbable Joe
9. Improbable Joe
Billcap, you've got to stop. Seriously, all that thinking about actually surviving the zombie apocalypse rather than pitting your husband against your lover is making me dizzy. We could make a list of everything they did wrong, which wouldn't be so bad if they had made a list of things to do instead of hanging out and collecting eggs and not taking care of Carl at all. It is pretty obvious that in case of zombie apocalypse, you set up a watch schedule of some sort, maybe reinforce the fenceline and/or dig a moat. You fill every spot in your vehicle that isn't a place for a person with a gas can or supplies. I mean, not ONE full gas can between the bunch of them?

I guess it was last week, Lori said something along the lines that Dale's death really made the situation real for her. Not the deaths and/or reanimations of 99.999999% of humanity, the CDC blowing up, the deaths of all those other people who she personally saw die, her kid getting shot in the chest, barn full of walkers, Rick shooting Sophia, none of it. I guess everyone else still needed a wake-up call? Still?
Alex Brown
10. AlexBrown
@Billcap: Ah, Billcap, I shall miss you most of all. Yours are always some of my favorite comments. I may not always agree with you (though I do pretty much this time with your summation of the fairly egregious plot holes), but I love reading your thoughts :)

@Improbable: I also didn't get why they didn't just fill up at the highway. They survived there for a while before discovering the farm, so it's not like nothing was left. Hell, there was a whole water truck, like, 10 feet down the road. Why not trade up for bigger vehicles or ones with better mileage? Or at least just fill up a couple of cannisters with backup fuel?

Glenn made a similar comment after Dale's death, that it suddenly felt real...except he said the exact same thing after Sophia's re-death. And I'm pretty sure several people made the same comment after Amy's death.
William Fettes
12. Wolfmage
I can't believe I'm about to defend the writing of a rather poorly written character on a mediocre show, but I found Lori's reaction rather more plausible than many here -- if perhaps overwrought.

It totally wasn't the case that Lori pulled away with her stink face on just because she inexplicably flipped out to some reasonable confession by Rick. There's definitely a broader consistency issue with the way Lori reacts to things between episodes, but this isn't one of them. There's absolutely no hypocrisy in the vein of going from Lady MacBeth to some kind of moral objector.

What we know is that Lori had very conflicted feelings about Shane, and her most recent episodes affirmed that her feelings for him were truer than she had been prepared to admit after Rick came back alive. His death and then Carl simultaneously having to shoot zombie Shane would very understandably leave her realing. But her pulling away isn't just her base reaction to the bare facts of what happened with Shane. It was specifically about how Rick went about it and where he ended up.

In explaining what happened to her, Rick went from talking about the incident in a restrained and factual way - ie. that he acted in self-defence (which was 100% true) to something far beyond that. He started by taking complete ownership of the progression of their relationship and nascent hostilities, but he ended up in cuckooland with this almost blood thirsty denial that the act was even reactive at all. Rick essentially claimed that it was his agency driving the situation all along, not Shane's. He deliberately allowed things to end this way because it was more convenient to have it done with. Now, I don't buy that story from Rick; he's smarter than he lets on but he's not that smart. I mean, if a third path of simply defusing the situation was as easy and perceptible as he claimed, what was the solution?
Locking him up?? I think he knew he would be set upon, but at that stage the agency in control was still all with Shane. IMO it's a classic defence mechanism to take too much ownership over things.

But the point is that a normal person -- let alone someone who has high degree of emotional investment in the deceased -- and someone who is evidently struggling to process the idea that her son lost his innocence by killing her zomie alt-husband -- would foreseeably be repulsed by how Rick's sentiment was so alien and indifferent to that. She didn't recognise that side of him and it totally spooked her.

Of course, then the writers backpeddled a bit and Rick goes back to the group for validation with a more reasonable version of the story pitched somewhere between the self-defence argument and the bloody-minded one. But at that stage the group could readily see Rick's defensiveness and pleading tone, not to mention his rising hysteria, which undermined his words. I believe normal Rick saying he killed Shane straight-up in self-defence (with none of the special pleading) would never be looked at askance by the group. So, it is telling that almost everyone looked at him that way, in case some are tempted to fixate on Lori as the lone naysayer. She wasn't.

And, of course, the reason Rick is behaving like this is precisely because he just killed his best friend, and they just escaped a huge debacle -- shattering the illusion of safety and claiming the lives of a bunch of their people. I think Hershell's words about priortising Karl at all costs really affected Rick, but ultimately I thought he looked more deliberatively out of control, in the vein of Shane, rather than simply being a harder, more decisive version of himself. The stink face he used was so obviously channelling Shane that I thought this was clumsy sign-posting when I was watching -- but apparently many people missed it in their haste to shit on the show and Lori.
Improbable Joe
13. Improbable Joe
@Wolfmage:

Your comments make sense if you view the episode as a stand alone entity. The problem is that this is the season 2 finale, and it isn't a well-written show. On a well-written show, Lori would have conflicting feelings. On this show, Lori just randomly reverses herself depending on where they want the plot to go. If she's had a real goal all this time, it might have been to drive Shane to murder Rick, which is why she's all disappointed that Rick was the one who came back alive? Which would make sense if Shane hadn't attempted to sexually assault Lori in season 1, or if she hadn't tried to drive him off so many times.

I didn't mind Rick so much, mostly because I feel like they had really split Rick's character in half and gave half of it to Shane. They made Rick pure and dumped the negative stuff on Shane. Now Rick's going to have to carry that burden as well... and his poorly written family hates him for it. Blergh.
Improbable Joe
14. tigeraid
Loved the last two episodes, love the direction of the show, very little wrong with it. The Internet has succeeded in turning everyone into really, really bad critics.

I'll break down each as I go:

1. Clearly you all weren't paying attention with the Rick/Lori scene. Lori's facial expressions were generally unpleasant and a bit shocked as Rick revealed the truth...

THEN at the end, when he said "CARL TOOK DOWN SHANE", she then grew horrified, backed away and got angry/vomity/whatever....

SHE WAS NOT HORRIFIED THAT HE KILLED SHANE, SHE WAS HORRIFIED THAT CARL HAD A GUN AND SHOT SHANE.

It was also why she cuddled up to him understandingly during Rick's last rant to the whole group. For god sake's people, it's one of the few times in this show that Lori HAS done something that makes sense. Wipe the blood out of your eyes.

2. Yes, Carol is pathetic, and can't run from zombies, and needs Daryl to rescue her. Again, she lost her whole family, and before this all went down she was a fundamentalist Christian battered wife--and you expect her to become a zombie-killing (or even zombie-AVOIDING) machine? Of ALL the characters in the group, she's the most likely to be useless. SOMETIMES useless people exist in these situations and hang around. And sometimes they survive. Get over it and relish the day she finally gets eaten.

3. If you were watching close enough, many of them missed shots when firing on the zombies. Many shots hit, too. They all took shooting lessons, I'm sure they're not perfect, but they should be able to slow moving targets more often than not.

4. Yes, Glenn proclaimed his love to Maggie. After ignoring her likewise advances for a whole season. Yes it was a pretty big moment for the characters, and done at the right time, to try and snap Maggie out of her hysteria. Why is this a bad thing, or even worth complaining about?

I posted it in last week's hate-fest and I'll post it again--TWD was never a "zombe apocalypse" movie. The comic AND the show are a human drama about survivors living together and trying to stay safe, and eventually, human vs human conflict. The zombies just become a natural disaster to worry about. It sounds like you're wanting it to be Resident Evil every week.

5. Yes, they all met up at the section of the highway where Sophia was lost. Why not? Seems like a logical place to me to meet up, a common ground they all know about and is easily accessible and easier to find no matter where you are (it's the Interstate.) How the hell is that implausible?

6. Rick likely kept the truth about everyone being infected to try and instill some sort of "hope," especially considering many in the group are religious in some way... So the idea that they'd become a monster after dying might freak them out way more. AND, being infected, who know what else that might mean down the road? What if you remain infected for a full 10 years and eventually the virus breaks down your body even when you DON'T die? Would you feel better if you knew you were walking around with that inside you? Not saying Rick was RIGHT to withhold it, but he might have had pure intentions.

I have some sort of sick pleasure, in watching TWD with the wife and generally enjoying our evening, then coming onto tor when I get to work and seeing everyone lose their goddamn minds with hate for no useful reason. I'm not sure why.

Looking forward to season 3, and I'm stoked the ratings are as good as they are, so yet another awesome show won't suddenly disappear in the middle of a great story.

Also: T-Dogg is developing as something approaching a character, which is nice, and Daryl rules as always.
Improbable Joe
15. tigeraid
Though I will agree, having them run out of gas was a little silly to me, having the highway full of cars there and all...
Improbable Joe
16. jackie chan'd
@tigeraid In every way possible, I agree with your comments. There are not enough +1's in the world for me to give you, so, in all sincerity, I take solace in knowing there are still rational people in this world.
Bill Capossere
17. Billcap
Milo@10
Hey, you’ve got me for at least the first two episodes to come. Or are you just working on the assumption they won’t be enough to keep me around? :)

Tiger@14
I’m not going to try to convince you to not love the last two episodes. Liking something or not is simply too subjective. But I will respond to some of your points

I was well aware that Lori’s reaction got stronger when she learned of Carl’s involvement. I just have a very different take on it. One is her first reaction, which is still upset/horrified/angry/disgusted, made little sense given prior Shane acts and the fact that Rick is telling her Shane had premeditated Rick’s murder at that very moment. And two is her second reaction was over the top. I just don’t buy the “my boy’s not an innocent anymore” coming after him, you know, seeing the world be destroyed and then we can list all the bad things he’s seen or experienced (like getting shot). Nor do I buy the “I’m so angry my son shot the zombie former murderer former tried-to-murder-my-husband former near-rapist”. It’s OK if you are more fine with that; I’m just clarifying that you shouldn’t assume those of us who are not are blinded by blood in our eyes.
we’ll agree to disagree on the efficacy of fire range training in broad daylight standing still shooting at cans as preparation for shooting randomly lurching objects at night backlit by flames while driving back and forth over bumpy ground at relatively high speed while worrying about getting eaten. And as I mentioned, the sheer silliness of that was pointed out by the writers themselves, who showed us via Darryl (in a fully exposed “vehicle” btw) how unnecessary it was.
I’m actually in agreement with you on it trying to be (or should be) “human drama”. The problem is the drama has to take place in the context of plausible reactions to plausible situations and be expressed via plausible dialogue or plausible expressions between plausible characters. Without that, it becomes not drama but farce. I don’t even need to like the characters; I just need them to be characters.
There’s nothing at all implausible in my mind about them meeting at the highway. What is implausible to me is, in no particular order not setting up a meeting place ahead of time (knowing they’d be in cars especially) driving several miles and making turns to get to a meet up spot as opposed to simply driving out of the crowd/off the farm and waiting or signaling. debating over whether to stay there all of a few minutes/hours
I don’t think of criticism or pointing out of flaws to be “hate” I think of it as, well, criticism. And I’d have a different take on the “losing my mind” point. It isn’t that disliking the show makes me lose my mind; it’s that using my mind makes me dislike the show. Partly that’s a compliment, because I expect the show to be more than it is. I wouldn’t, for instance, bother with criticism of Independence Day or Armageddon.

But glad you’re enjoying the show more than I do--I have no need for shared disappointment
John Ginsberg-Stevens
18. eruditeogre
Well, to restore the cosmic balance, I must say that, regarding @tigeraid's comments, I take solace in knowing there are still people who rationalize TV shows in this world.

1. Perhaps you can interpret Laurie's first reaction either way, but her behavior for the remainder of the episode clearly shows that she is reacting negatively to Rick AND comforting Carl, after apparently playing her husband and Shane against each other for reasons that are unfathomable through most of the second season. Of course, that comes from judging the whole season, which good critics try to do.

2. The problem with Carole is not that she cannot kick ass, but that she appears to have no value in the story. I feel bad for her because the writers have made her pathetic for NO APPARENT REASON. If you can find a reason other than "because," please enlighten us.

3. I've shot a handgun and an Uzi from a car moving more slowly than those jostling, spinning vehicles, in my misspent youth. Unless you are a certified marksling you ain't hitting much.

4. I did not have a problem with what Glenn did, because I agree that he was trying to calm Maggie and give her something for emotional anchorage.

As far as this "it isn't a zombie apocalypse" defense for the flaccid soap-opera moments, er, I think the people being eaten left and right prove you wrong.

5. The problem is not WHERE they met, but WHEN they got there, all at once in a procession, although they left the farm at different times, traveled on different roads, and . . . oh, why bother? We are so used to the convenience of teleplay moments that people apparently don't see this anymore.

6. Sure, that is a possible explanation. The complaint is that it is not clear why he did that, especially given the jeopardy it placed people in. What if someone had died of natural causes in the night and started going through the house munching people? It was strange and the revelation seemed calculated to create some superfluous drama.

And it was not "a little silly" that they did not get supplies or gas on the highway. It was ridiculous, because they've done it before. This is the problem that I come up against again and again, which is the utter lack of planning despite ongoing and clear signals of the dangers of the world. It's as if the writers want them to forget this stuff to put them in jeopardy later. This does not just undercut the zombie apocalypse part of the show, it erodes character and story development.
Alex Brown
19. AlexBrown
I think the problem lies in the fact that there just hasn't been enough detailed characterization of the characters, if you'll excuse the clumsy turn of phrase. We are all putting our own opinions onto these scenes because we simply don't have any real idea of who these people really are, so we can't figure out what reaction is "real." What I mean is if you take a character like Don Draper or Al Swearengen or Liz Lemon or Jeff Winger, the writers of those shows (Mad Men, Deadwood, 30 Rock, and Community respectively) have done a bangup job of fleshing out the characters into three-dimensional beings. We know how they are going to react in a situation, and even when their reaction is subtle or filled with subtext we know what they are most likely feeling because we know them as people.

TWD writers haven't done that with their characters. It took 15 episodes for the audience to discover that T-Dog had fun things to say. That's not good. Lori and Carol have flip-flopped all over the place based on the whims of the writers and the needs of the plot, and it's often been the case that the writers are intending for one reaction, the dialogue provides another, and the actor provides yet a third.

What I'm trying to get at is that tigeraid's reading of the scene might be right, but so might mine and billcap. Because we don't know these people, all reading of the scene is supposition. I already greatly dislike Lori (and was indifferent to/wasn't bothered by Carol until she went all Lori on me the episode to last), and Lori has a habit of having a loud and angry opinion that directly opposes anything that any character says regardless of what loud and angry opinion she just gave. So my inclination is to read her as I did. Because that's what I've come to expect from her, because the only thing I know about her at this point is that she's ok with hanging out with her attempted rapist and that she will contradict you solely for the sake of plot contrivance.
Alex Brown
20. AlexBrown
If you are a regular reader of my reviews, you'd notice that while I find the show terribly problematic, I don't hate it. If I did I certainly wouldn't keep reviewing it, much less watching it. (For example, there's not enough money in the world to make me watch anything Kardashian-related because my loathing for all that they stand for reaches epic proportions.)

There's some good stuff in TWD, and a whole lot of wasted potential. The 2nd and 3rd to last eps were almost fantastic, mostly because they fixed those problematic issues. The finale was more troublesome because it was back to incongrous character behavior and giant plotholes, and it suffered in my eyes for that moreso than usual because it came on the heels of two really good eps.

But criticism is an important - and valid - part of the viewing process. If people didn't critique shows, we'd all be stuck with six seasons and a movie of Work It. Judging by the crazy viewership, it's obvious that a majority of people aren't bothered by the wonky aspects (or probably more accurately not bothered enough to stop watching, like me). But that doesn't mean all of us with problems with the show are wrong or stupid or bad or anything else. It just means that we want the show to live up to its potential because we know from the series premiere and the last few eps that it totally can, and we get upset when it fails to do so - and when it fails, it does so spectacularly.
Improbable Joe
21. tigeraid
@eruditeogre: Because! How is that NOT realistic, to have a useless member or two in a group like this? Is it annoying and kind of exhasperating? Yes, but that's likely what would happen in real life too.

As far as Lori's behavour, I GENERALLY agree with what everyone says that's shallow, manipulative, and flip-flops on her morals and ideas more often than Mitt Romney. I'm saying that in THIS instance, they got it right. Her initial reaction, to me, was horror (she did lose someone she had feelings for) mixed with a sort of grim acceptance... and THEN he mentioned Carl killing him and she lost it. I find it perfectly plausible. I still want her to have her throat torn out by a walker, don't misunderstand.

@Milo1313: Well, Lori's pregnant, is trying to protect her son from zombies, and is juggling her returned-from-the-dead husband and a violent, jealous ex-boyfriend. Carol just lost her whole family, had battered wife syndrome, and is a devout Christian in a world gone to hell. If there's two characters that WOULD be unpredictable and lose their minds, I think it'd be them. Do the things they say frustrate me as a viewer? Yes. But then I put myself in their shoes and think yeah, maybe I'd be erratic, to the point of being a crazy woman.

And to the general suggestions from several people that they'd have an escape plan, with the fuel laid out, and all that sort of thing... Herschel and his family were DEAD SET on staying there for the rest of their lives, even having faith in such that things would work out, so I could understand them not planning anything.

I could also understand most of the group other than Daryl and Rick not having a plan... And Rick and Daryl not having an escape plan is two-fold: #1 - Rick was really dead set on staying on the farm too, and #2 - I think we forget how much time has actually passed since they got to the farm, because it's been a season and a half... Is it not plausible it's been no more than a couple of weeks? If so they might've simply been too busy dealing with all the BS to map it out... I just think people are worrying way, way too much about the little things.
Improbable Joe
22. Improbable Joe
Yeah...

The problem isn't that I like or don't like the way the characters behave, as much as there's not much in the way of character to begin with and there's nothing consistent or reasonable about much of the character behavior. I don't expect them to be militia survival experts, but I do expect them to post a guard at night 24 hours after Dale was killed inside their fence line. I know Lori's not the perfect mom, but I expect between her and Carl and Carl seeing Sophia killed a couple of days ago and Dale be murdered yesterday inside the fence line, someone would keep an eye on the little zombie bait. You're in a car, the zombies seem to move about 1-2 miles an hour, you's think people would be a little less panicked but also park their cars right up on the house since they thought of boarding up the windows. Just sort of common sense, when they have no escape plan AND no real fortifications AND no one on watch, it starts to look sort of like bad writing... because Daryl really seems like a survivalist type, and would have made some suggestions at some point.

Lori... the problem of "getting it right" with Lori is that everything she says is inconsistent with lots of other things she's said. This has only been a few weeks total, right? You can't use the short time frame to excuse smart thinking, but also accept the sheer number of and extreme differerences between the stances that Lori has taken in that same short time frame. If he attempted to rape her three weeks ago, and she wanted him GONE GONE GONE, but then begged him to stay, then told him to stay away from her son and unborn critter(who she tried to abort!), then accused him of murdering Otis and suggested that Rick deal with him, then thanked him for being an awesome friend and BTW the baby is maybe yours after all...

... well, after that any reaction she has is consistent with part of what she's said before, but then it is also inconsistent with other things she said just as strongly. Further, that inconsistency in her griping and whining and convincing one guy to kill another guy or vice-versa is her ONLY character trait. She's completely inattentive towards her son, has no emotional or sexual chemistry with either her husband or her former lover, and shows commitment to laundry and housework and setting people against each other.

If they had given Lori a relatively consistent position throughout the show, then her finale behavior could have made perfect sense. If you took out all of her Pro-Rick, Anti-Shane comments, it would make sense that she's grieving for the man she came to love and is stuck with a man she feels little connection to. If you took out all of the Anti-Rick, Pro-Shane stuff, it would make sense that she's horrified that she forced her husband to kill his beast friend because of her behavior. None of her concern for Carl makes sense, because she never keeps an eye on him and kind of wanted to let him die that one time and she's the worst mother in TV history.
Improbable Joe
24. congokong
I couldn't enjoy the action scenes. Once Andrea just glanced over her shoulder and shot two zombies in the head like they were flies she was just swatting away. Ridiculous. The continous headshots devalued the zombie threat and made me wonder why they even left the farm when they were annihilating the zombies with one-hit kills.

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