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THE WALKING DEAD Loses Track of Time

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Season 2, episode 9: “Triggerfinger”

[All photos: Gene Page/AMC]

Timothy: Well, we’re inching closer to when Dustin and I want to have these review/recaps out to you… at this rate we’ll have one the day after the episode somewhere around the middle of season three. Sigh. Anyway, when we left off, Rick had proven he can shoot first, and Lori discovered that she is the latest victim of the writer’s desire to make something happen for no actual reason.

So join Mr. Adair and me as we once again dive into the soap opera that is the Adventures of Team Zombie and the Family Greene. What adventures and speeches have they for us this week?

Spoilers and general misbehaving follow. You have been warned.

Dustin: I really have no idea why I’m still watching this show.

Because you actually liked the last episode, and we still haven’t beat the hope out of you. Yet.

Hmpph. Lori is unconscious in the car and a walker is trying to get in. Will she survive? Here’s hopin’ no. Oh. She woke up. Damn.

Meanwhile, Rick is killing Tony and Dave. Glen and Hershel are all like ‘Wah?’ but they’re basically okay with it. Hershel even nods his approval.  

Wait, wait, wait. It’s suddenly night. Like instantly. Like in between the time Rick shot Dave and Tony, the sun fell from the sky. Actually, it’s even worse than that, because we get a recap of the gunshots from outside the bar, and it’s night. Lori flips her car in daylight, comes to moments later in the dark. Don’t be fooled by the stills, the broadcast episode was nowhere near that brightly lit, so no. No, no, no… Dear Walking Dead Production Team. Please pay attention to little details like where you left off on the previous episode. Hint: If at the end of the previous episode it’s day, and the new episode starts seconds later, or, in this case, actually overlaps? It will still be day. Ye gods, that’s sloppy. I am embarrassed for you.

Rick takes a moment to steal from the dead bodies before they head for the door. Classy.  
A car passes by. Everyone gets super scared, and they should be because it’s Dave and Tony’s friends. Everyone is quiet and this is supposed to be super tense.

Meanwhile Lori is in serious trouble. The walker has nearly bitten through the windshield and is almost in the car. Lori is trapped, but basically unharmed. She tries to climb out of a window but doesn’t have the strength. The walker grabs her hair and she stabs it in the eye with a… something. I wasn’t really paying attention.

That would be a gear shift. Pretty slick there, Lori.

Finally, she gets out of the car and lets her guard down just long enough to be attacked again. This time by the walker she originally hit with her car, which caused her accident in the first place. They struggle on the ground for a few minutes before Lori hits it in the head with a hubcap. She goes back in the car for the gun she brought with her and kills the second walker. She was almost useful there.
Meanwhile, back on the farm everyone is getting worried because no one is back. Shane says they will go look in the morning. Sure you will, Shane. Sure you will.

Older Greene Daughter admonishes him for cussing. I know all these people have names, but I think they only said them once and moved on.

OK, this is sad. I had to go to Wikipedia to find her name, cause I couldn’t remember it either. It seems her name is Patricia, and she’s Otis’ wife. It’s interesting that in a show where everyone says everyone else’s name every 30 seconds, aside from Hershel and Maggie, the Greene Farm folks are just so much background noise. Clearly they are not long for the world.

Then everyone realizes Lori is gone. What exactly does that say about Lori that no one noticed that she was gone for several hours? Not even her kid. Now that they realize she’s not around bossing people around and being a complete pill, everyone gets all freaked out because she is so useless and we all remember what happened to the last useless female character on this show.  (RIP Zombie Sophia)

Back in town, the unseen Friends of Tony are wandering around outside the bar yell-acting about how worried they are about good friends Tony and Dave. When they try to get in the bar, Rick blocks the door. The Friends of Tony actually seem to respect this, and do not bust their way in guns blazing. They ask politely if Rick has seen their good friends and Rick, again showing his penchant for spot on decision-making, shares with the people looking for Dave and Tony that he has indeed killed them. ((Sigh))

(Facepalm) Rick. Um. Look, you’re a nice guy, OK, we get it. Honorable, caring, etc, etc. But if I may offer a small piece of advice? “Hey, I killed your buddies” is probably not the best of all possible introductions, no matter how honest. Next time? You might try easing into it a bit, you know, small talk first, “what do you think about this weather, sure is nice, isn’t it”, that sort of thing. Then tell the total strangers with guns that you just wasted their friends.

Rick chooses this moment to monologue about The Strange New World they all find themselves in, but the Friends of Tony, like the rest of the audience, tire of it quickly and decide to shoot up the bar.

Out at Team Zombie’s camp, Carol stumbles upon Daryl’s string-o-dead-things, including his necklace of zombie ears.  Carol tells Daryl that Lori is gone and he’s all like “duh, no one’s noticed until now? Not even her kid?” Carol tells him not to become a douche again, but I think he’s over being nice. Carol goes back to the house and tells the others about Lori’s incompetence and Shane goes after her.

Thought it was interesting that Shane thought Dale would somehow know something about Lori taking off like a stupid person. On the other hand, it’s the most civil Shane has been to Dale in a long time. Of course, that’s in comparison.

Rick tries to talk his way out of having a big mouth and of course it does not work, because normal people get tired of being preached to by sanctimonious jerks.

Realizing they’re trapped, Rick signals Glenn to make a break out the back for the cars, and after finding the creakiest stair in the world, he hears someone outside. Cue the closeup of the doorknob turning, and Glenn opens fire. 

At Lori’s wreck, Shane discovers the two walkers Lori killed… Oh God, Lori went into the woods, didn’t she? Welcome to the next six weeks of episodes, you guys.

Hey! Maybe today we should go look for the lost girl in the woods… what? It’s Lori? Hmmmm. Well, maybe tomorrow.

In the bar, Rick decides to let Hershel escape out the back with Glenn, who almost shoots him when he enters the room. He’s a little jumpier than usual…
Hershel tells Glenn to go for the car, but as they head out the door, they are shot at by nameless Friend of Tony (later we learn his name is Sean, but it matters nearly not at all because:) Hershel proves he is a crack shot and shoots the Friend of Tony in the leg, grounding him.

OK, how much did Hershel have to drink? He seemed a little… fuzzy last week, but now in the magic coming of night, he’s a freaking sniper. Really?

But Glenn may have been shot, so Rick heads out to find out if Glenn is dead. Which, of course, he’s not. He’s just shell shocked. Really Glenn? This is what gets you? You have been dancing inches way from chomping zombie teeth for months now and getting shot at turns you into a slobbering mess? Are you kidding me?

The Friends of Tony get them pinned down, and it looks like they are all in for a quick and merciful death when suddenly and out of nowhere, the town’s zombie population shows up to see who’s been shooting guns around town for the last hour.

Sean (the guy Hershel shot in the leg) can’t move, and the sniper on the roof that was just shooting at Rick and Glenn hurts himself when jumping off the roof. The Friends of Tony prove they are jerks by leaving both men behind Hershel gets to watch walkers eat Sean. They start with the face. It’s pretty awesome.

Rick goes to check out the sniper that the Friends of Tony left behind and discovers that it’s just a kid, and his leg is impaled on an iron fence. Hershel says they should just kill him. Hershel. Has turned a corner.
Rick convinces them to not leave him but to try and save him, but then!! Walkers!! And there’s no time!! And AHH!! The kid is freaking out!! And then run! And shoot! And should we leave him!?! He’s JUST A KID!! So the walkers are coming!! SO RICK PULLS THE KID’S LEG OFF THE FENCE!!

Dustin? Breathe.

But…

Dustin? Breathe.

Stuff is happening. I really don’t know what I’m going to do if this show becomes good again.

Shane finds Lori walking down the middle of the road, and after making sure she’s not hurt, he lies, telling her that Rick and Hershel are back at the farm. Yeah, it’s one more lie from Shane, but Dustin and I are both with him on this one. Lori’s already established she’s going to be a danger to herself enough for one day/night.

Carol goes out to try and talk Daryl off the douchebag ledge. She finds his ears. Daryl tries to be a jerk, but Carol was married to an abusive ass, so she can take it. She just stands there and lets him abuse her. He basically unloads all of his secret fears onto her, telling her that she could never fit in with these people and she will never find anyone that thinks she is good enough, but she takes it. They stare at each other. As much as I fear that they are turning Daryl into some sort of wish-fulfillment avatar for the writer, I have to say, I LOVE Carol and Daryl together. They have so much chemistry it’s sickening.

Shane arrives back with Lori and everyone WHO DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE SHE WAS GONE is so excited to see her until Lori asks about Rick and she realizes Shane lied to her. Shane shares with everyone that Lori is pregnant and it basically shuts everyone up.

Yeah, um, Shane? Nice job, slick.

Oh, hey, remember Daughter Fodder is catatonic.
Lori and Carl have a heart to heart about how awesome Carl is. They talk about the baby and how it’s going to be a huge MacGuffin.
Oh, Carl does not know where babies come from apparently. Isn’t he like, ten?

Yeah, does whoever wrote this episode have kids? Before all hell broke loose, I suspect that the Grimes household had the Internet and cable TV.

Carl asks if they can name the baby Sophia. Carl is super psyched to be a big brother.
Shane asks if he can talk to Lori and he tells her that he lied for a good reason, so Carl is sent from the room with Dale and Andrea. Dale stink-eyes his way out of the room. Lori is angry because Shane is the Prince of Lies. Shane says that he is the one that keeps them all safe, so Lori throws Otis out and Shane says that he loves her. So Lori tells him that Rick knows about their affair. Shane freaks out because… he’s losing his ever-loving mind, that’s why. At first is seems as though Shane is upset because his best friend knows he boinked his wife, but he’s MORE upset because in his mind, Lori and he and Carl were on their way to becoming the perfect little Post-Apocalyptic family, and the truth will just mess all that up. Shane tries to convince her that she is in love with him and of course… no.
Shane tells Lori that she is the one good thing in the whole miserable world before leaving the room. It’s okay to bug your eyes, Lori, you deserve it.

Gentlemen, let me be clear. When a woman tells you that she’s not in love with you, and you have to try and convince her that she is? Methinks your grip on reality might be a touch shaky. It also might be a clue that as soon as her husband turns out to not be dead she tells you it’s over. Just saying. Oh, and of course, Shane is, again, making it all about him.

Andrea goes into check on Daughter Fodder. She is still catatonic.  Maggie and Andrea have a sentimental discussion about sisterhood and birth control or whatever.
The next day, everyone gets ready to head off to look for Rick, Glenn and Hershel. At which time, Dale decides to tell Andrea that he thinks Shane is crazy. Andrea is squarely on Team Shane. And why wouldn’t she be? To the common observer, Shane is the best protector Team Zombie has (especially with Daryl off feeling sorry for himself.) Before Dale can start outlining the reasons Shane is cuckoo bananas, here comes a car!! It’s Rick, Hershel, Glenn and the kid! The kid is surprisingly not dead.

Again. Time. Time in this show is so messed up. Let’s review, shall we? Day turns into night at the shooting of a gun, and now, now, a short drive back from a town only a few miles away, takes hours apparently. Hours, with a kid who has a freaking huge hole in his leg, who, quite frankly, should be dead. Big hole.  Dead kid.

Everyone runs out to greet them, Maggie runs right past her father, and into Glenn’s arms. Ha.
Then Theodore gets a line to notice the kid. We are informed that his name is Randall and he will be staying around for a while.

CUT TO: Team Zombie and the Greene Farmers sitting around the dining room table discussing the previous night’s events. Everyone is being total jerks about the fact that Rick decided to bring Randall back to the Greene Farm instead of leaving him to die in the most horrible way possible. Things are not improved when Hershel comes in fresh from doing surgery on Randall’s leg and informs the newly formed Council of Morons that he will live. Again, everyone becomes total jerks about Randall’s ability to not die horribly. (Oh, during the scene, Daryl comes in the room, dressed in appropriate clothes and looking freshly bathed. He nods to Carol as the two of them watch everyone else yell like idiots. Looks like Hershel may not have been the only one to turn a corner this week.)

Shane gets in Hershel’s face and yells at him that Randall is dangerous. So Hershel puts Shane in his place, reminding him that the Greene Farm is not his property, and if Shane has such a problem with the way Hershel decides to run it, her is fully invited to find another place to squat.
That will go over just great. Just great.
And with that, The Council of Morons disbands for another day.

After all the excitement, Maggie wants to talk to Glenn about feelings. Glenn is still all shell-shocked because he froze in the presence of the almighty gun. Glenn blames Maggie being in love with him for his cowardice. Oh that is such contrived bullpucky.

Yeah, this is a little bit writer-ly here guys. Look, I know, I know, it’s a scripted show, and you have to add conflicts, etc, etc. But must they be so obvious? Sigh.

With Hershel around to doctor her, Daughter Fodder is at least blinking. Hershel asks if she has eaten. Maggie decides to lay into him about her feelings. That girl is busting with the things all of a sudden.

Shane stomps away from the house, and Andrea joins him to discuss poor Randall. Andrea says Shane is basically right, but he’s just bad at presenting. Shane tries to pull Andrea down to his level by saying that they are the same, and I hate that I think she believes him. Remember, Andrea has never been present during one of Shane’s more insane moments, for all intents and purposes, she just thinks he’s passionate. I don’t even think she knows he and Lori slept together.

I wonder about that. I mean, with the sex in the car, and Shane’s sort of taking Andrea under his wing, if she doesn’t know (and I think she doesn’t), that’s going to be a bad scene coming. Although it probably shouldn’t be, if Andrea is realistic. But the way she’s been written… well.

Back in Rick and Lori’s tent, Rick and Lori get out of their dirty clothes, moaning and groaning about their injuries the whole time.  They need to talk about Shane, and the baby, and all their crap. Lori says the baby is Rick’s even if the baby is Shane’s, but she does not think Shane will accept that. Rick wants to talk it out, but Lori tells Rick that Shane is delusional and dangerous, but Rick is having a hard time believing it. She tells him she thinks Shane killed Otis.

But Rick jumps to Shane’s defense. Rick, of course takes the high ground, but in the most obnoxious way possible. He says that he killed men last night to protect her and Carl, and so now he understands having to kill to protect what is yours.

Lori says that is the problem; Shane thinks she, Carl and the baby are HIS, and she’s afraid of what he will do to keep them his. She basically tells Rick that Shane needs to die.
I bet Rick does not take that advice.

In preparing this recap, I found a lot of stuff online saying that Lori was being manipulative in this last scene, but I don’t think that’s true at all. Remember, Lori has basically been fighting a private battle with Shane since the third episode of the first season, trying to convince him to let her go, trying to talk him down off the ledge of insanity, trying to keep things together. Yes, I still think she is obnoxious in a lot of ways, but when it comes to Shane, the one character that has the blinders fully off is Lori. Even Dale, who believes a lot of the same things about Shane is seeing those things through the lenses of wanting to protect Andrea. I don’t think Lori was trying to manipulate Rick into doing anything. I think she is just genuinely tired of fighting this battle alone, and is looking for an ally.
And if that ally is prone to putting bullets in problems, well, so be it.

I’ve seen a lot of those online comments too, my favorite being the one calling it Lori’s Lady Macbeth moment, and I agree with you… to a point. I think Lori is manipulating Rick to some extent, but only because she knows her husband, and how he needs to hear things. Rick’s problem is that, until recently, he’s been too quick to think the best of everyone, to forgive the worst of everyone, and yes, that’s been a problem for Team Zombie. But one of his biggest blind spots is Shane. I mean, he used to be, and Rick still wants to believe he is, Rick’s best friend. That Shane has become probably the biggest threat to Rick in this zombie world is something Rick simply doesn’t want to believe. So Lori, quite rightly here, makes it clear to Rick in the most emotional way she can, and that is manipulative. But not in a “This will get me what I want” kind of way… more of a “This is the only way you’ll hear what you NEED to know.”

And that’s this week! So what have we learned?

Well, we’ve learned that the Walking Dead Production Team is apparently not aware that you can’t just turn out the sun, and that they’ve given up all pretense of time moving in a realistic manner. We’ve learned that Shane is still crazy, that Glenn is more frightened of being shot than being eaten by the Dead, but scariest of all is that Love thing. We’ve learned that secrets, whether it’s Otis’ death, Lori’s baby, or post-apocalyptic shagging, don’t stay secret, and that since most of them revolve around Shane, he’s probably not the best guy to confide in. We’ve learned that Hershel can shoot drunk, Daryl still has hope, and Carol is stronger than she seems to be.

But I think our real lesson is this: When surrounded by hordes of the undead? Jumping off a building is probably a bad idea.

See you next episode.

[Official Show Site at AMC]     [Previous Recap: “Nebraska”]

Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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