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TWD S02Ep11 Review

TWD S02Ep11 Review

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Published by: Diane_Evert_6298 on Aug 17, 2012
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01/14/2013

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The Walking DeadSeason 2 Episode 11 Review
*Warning: The same old stuff- episode spoilers, mature language, graphic content, etc. etc.- so proceed at  your own risk.*
There’s something about episode #11 in a 13 episode season that feels different from 9 or 12. Ithink it’s that the countdown to something going off is usually from 3. (Except for countdownsfrom 10; like NASA launches and New Year’s Eve.) When you were a kid you counted to three before you jumped in the pool from the high diving-board or raced your best friend just to knowwho was faster. In Mario Kart it’s always 3-2-1-Go, and when you were in trouble your parentssaid things like “If you aren’t over here cleaning this up by the time I count to three I’m throwingaway
all of your Legos!!”
For whatever reason three is the magic number that seems to perfectlyfit the interval of time required to prepare for that green light- that jump into the pool.It’s also this big symbolic deal thing in numerology and mysticism and like, virtually everyreligion there is.
 And 
it has its own “School House Rock” song all about it.But coming back and bringing my original point with me; episode 11
feels
like the first step in thecountdown to dropping the nuke and obliterating everything we’ve come to know about thesecharacters and their world. I know this
is
episode 3 in the 3, 2, 1- season over, so it should feel thatway. I never got that feeling at any point while watching the first season; obviously not when onlythree episodes remained out of 6 episodes total, but just in general it never felt like this to me atany point. I didn’t have this increasing anxiety that each of the last three episodes is a step closer todevastation. Here is my experience of the first step towards devastation.We learn a great deal about all of the main characters in this episode as far as who they really areas people and what they’re capable of. It starts with a bit of the old, squirrel-tossing Daryl comingout to play for a while in order to get information out of Randall, who is chained up in what must be the smelliest barn in history. He bloodies up his knuckles and takes out that giant freaking knifeof his to threaten to re-open Randy’s nasty leg boo-boo, but eventually the kid gave up the info. Itis not good news. A giant group of heavily armed men who go out “scavenging” for supplies andshould the opportunity present itself, occasionally force fathers to watch while they gang-rape histeenage daughters. Oh but Randall would never do such a thing! He never laid a hand on thosegirls- he just watched.I think Daryl should’ve saved everyone a whole lot of trouble and just killed the little fucker rightthere. He’s as much of a rapist as whoever he was with since he let it happen when he could’vedone something to stop it. And I can hear the argument now: “How do
 you
know he could’ve doneanything? He was out-numbered and I’m sure they were armed- if he tried to stop them he probably would have been killed!”Then he should have died.If he couldn’t stop them without managing to get killed by them then he isn’t smart enough tosurvive. If they would kill him or shoot it out rather than stop raping a girl if he stood his groundand threatened to kill some or all of them then he can’t trust them and isn’t really safe with thatgroup anyway. And if they would threaten to hurt/kill the girls or the father or call him a traitor with no loyalty to his own group then he only has two possible futures anyway: become a monster like the rest of them and assimilate or eventually be killed over something awful enough that hecan’t ignore it.
 
I don’t buy that he couldn’t do anything- I don’t think he
wanted 
to do anything. I think he’ssadistic and manipulative and all this talk over being innocent and just trying to survive is bullshit.For those of you who believe in that sort of thing, the Bible claims “So whoever knows the rightthing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17But my summation of choice for how I see this situation comes in the form of a quote from one of my favorite movies:"Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, andthat is the indifference of good men."
(100 Super-Awesome Points to those of you who can tell me the name of the film in the“comments” section! ;-)
This notion is important and brought up later in the episode, too.After telling the rest of the group what he learned (except for the teenage rape story), Daryl, Rick,and all the others were pretty set on executing the guy rather than risking his release. Dale is thelone voice of dissent and convinces Rick to give him until sundown to talk to the other people inthe group and look at other options before they kill a person who, for all they know, could beinnocent. He has several very impassioned conversations with Shane, Daryl, Hershel, and Andrea before everyone gathers together in the farmhouse living room to have a group discussion andvote.I particularly enjoyed Dale’s talk with Daryl; it made me happy that someone other than Carolshowed they care about him. Saying that he’d have to do more than just move his tent away fromthe rest of camp if he wanted to “get away” from them was a surprise to me coming from Dale- upuntil that point I hadn’t realized anyone else actually noticed Daryl as a person, let alone as onethey weren’t willing to lose.
He
still doesn’t think his opinion counts for anything and that no onelooks to him, claiming he’s better off on his own. When Dale disagrees and says that he and Rick are decent men while Shane isn’t, I don’t think he was prepared to hear that Daryl figured out whathappened with Otis a long time ago and, more importantly, that Rick did too- he just didn’t want toadmit it to himself. Daryl says the group is broken. Dale looks a bit broken himself after that littleexchange.I think he counted on Hershel backing him up since he was such a religious man, but Hershelsurprised both Dale and me by saying he didn’t want Randall anywhere near his daughters and thathe was leaving the whole thing up to Rick. (Since the guy is a creep and a rapist I’d say Hershelhas good reason for feeling the way he does.) Though where he is now compared to where he waswhen we first met him in the season, Hershel has such vastly different morals and convictions! It’slike all of his confidence has been squashed out and he doesn’t trust himself not to let everyonedown again by making the wrong choice, so he doesn’t make any choices and leaves everything upto Rick. This isn’t something he can just shake off, either- meaning Dale couldn’t count on hissupport to stop an execution of a possibly innocent man on his own land.Satan was snowboarding in Hell because Dale even approaches Shane to plead his case and *gasp*Shane was actually pretty reasonable about the whole thing. There’s a particularly important bitwhere in arguing the numbers: 12 of them and 1 of him but 30 of his gang, Dale tells Shane“killing him doesn’t change that; but it changes us.” Killing this one man won’t really make themany safer- it wont make a difference when it comes to the threat of attack by an armed gang- but itwill make them less than what they were. It will diminish the humanity of the group in anirreparable way.However Shane is certain that this is the right choice to make. If they spare Randall- let him jointhe group, see if he’s useful and maybe even a nice guy- one day he
will 
kill someone, and that will
 
 be blood on Dale’s hands. It isn’t a matter of convenience or just being ruthless- Shane truly thinksthat Dale is wrong. Yet he agrees to back him up if he can get the whole group to share his opinionon the matter. That’s a whole lot more than I ever would’ve expected from Shane. Honestly that
whole conversation
was more than I expected from him.I think maybe Shane’s going to kick it at the end of the season and this is the start of a campaign tomake him into less of a psycho and more of a good guy so that he doesn’t die a creep and a villain.I’d even go so far as to say that I think he might die in order to save someone else- like Carl or Lori or my favorite, Rick. That would be cheese-tastic!I think Hershel is going to bite it as well- though I’ve said that before. Giving the watch to Glennfelt a bit like his character was having his affairs put in order- wrapping up his loose ends in thesense of making sure Maggie has a good man to “take care of her.” One who also cares about andwill help her look after her little sister once he’s gone and there’s no one else to do it. At the sametime he’s also letting Glenn (and therefore Maggie) know that they have his blessing/approval as acouple, in case he never gets the chance to tell her so outright. It may have seemed a bit lame andcontrived to some of you but I thought it was a nice way to cover an important moment in the progression of those three characters.It felt real, too, because of Steven Yeun’s portrayal Glenn’s surprise and awkwardness and notreally knowing what to say or do in that situation. I mean the guy is given a very precious andmeaningful family heirloom and he says “thanks” like he was just given a bag of Doritos! I’d havegone with something like “thank you, sir” at the very least! There’s totally no breaking up with her now, either! For all intents and purposes Glenn just got married to the farmer’s daughter, and inthis world you have to fight tooth and nail for a divorce- literally- because the only way out of amarriage is if one of you fails to fend off the teeth and nails of the walkers!Another important character we get a good look into the nature of is Carl Grimes, who’s alwayssomehow in the story and important to it, yet still manages to be peripheral. We see what thisworld and all this loss and death and violence has been doing to him because you just know it’sgotta be turning him into a little psycho! Virtually all serial killers have violent, abusive childhoodsand I’d say that’s not a poor description of Carl’s life lately. He’s been showing little signs of coldness and detachment and this episode we saw some real creep-factor behavior on his part.First I’d have to mention how he was sitting in the barn, looking down at Randall in chains like hewasn’t a person. Randall starts talking; appealing to Carl’s concern for safety for him and hisfamily, his sense of mercy, and trying to seem like a nice guy. Carl looks at him without aresponse, as though he couldn’t hear a word the guy was saying. He stared at him the way peoplewho don’t like animals stare at some exotic creature in a zoo- curious and interested but withoutany emotional involvement or sympathy. He’s so empty in those moments that it seems almostfake for him to be afraid of getting in trouble with his parents when Shane catches him. It’s a greatway to show that while he has this morbid, developing darker side he’s still just a kid.I can understand him lashing out at Carol; anger is a stage of grief. I can even understand playingaround at Daryl’s campsite while he’s away. There probably isn’t much for him to do and for ayoung boy Daryl would have some really cool stuff. He’s like the older step-brother whose roomyou’re never allowed to go into or you’ll get your ass kicked, which means, of course, that you
have to see what’s in there
so you sneak in while he’s not home & just try not to move/break anything so that he never knows you were there. Only Carl doesn’t seem to get that last part- thenot wanting him to know you were ever there part- because while playing with the super-sweetmotorcycle that would give Daryl a stroke if he caught him touching, he just pockets a gun thatwas stashed in there.

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