Yep, that’s Sophia. You remember her, don’t you? She decided to bolt from underneath a car during a migration of the living dead on that nasty highway of smashed up cars. She’s been missing for weeks and, well, she’s a zombie now. This was the *surprise* reveal at the end of Sunday night’s mid-season finale and if you didn’t see that coming, grab a shovel and hit yourself in the face a few dozen times.
The show opened with Glenn spilling the beans to everyone about what Doc Hershel had *hidden* inside that barn and for a zombie fan like me, this is the weakest link in the series this season because zombies moan … a lot. You would think that Rick’s band of intrepid survivors would have, I don’t know, heard the moaning after one night sleeping under canvas, but no. These Barn Zombies are a new breed – silent and stealthy. They rarely complain. They just shamble about aimlessly as their flesh slowly rots away. (And then there’s the issue of the stench. You’d think that if Rick’s peeps hadn’t heard the zombies they would have at least smelled them. I mean, there were a dozen in that barn. A dozen!!)
Anyway, Lori is still preggers and Rick has a bit of a tiff with Shane early on in the show – informing Shane that Lori is knocked up. Rick decides to go and reason some more with Doc Hershel to see if some common ground can be reached, but the Doc wants them gone. Even though his daughter Maggie is starting to come to realization that it’s kind of nice to have Rick’s clan sticking around. Plus she has a boyfriend in Glenn, now, so …
Shane confronts Lori about the pregnancy and Lori tells Shane that even if the baby is his, it’s not going to be his baby. So there. Suck it up. Shane, who is already slowly falling apart is about to go postal – you can see it coming. Young Carl tells Shane what for, emitting the word “bullshit” and he says to Shane, “dude, we are so not leaving until we find Sophia.” So Shane heads back to the Winnebago to get some guns but spiritual leader of the group Dale (who is really starting to bug me even more than bitchy Andrea) has taken it upon himself to hide all the guns. Not a good idea when loose cannon Shane is coming apart. This after Dale warns Andrea that Shane is bad news – but she’s already had kinky post apocalyptic back seat sex with Shane so Dale’s counsel is ignored.
Later on in the swamp, Dale is confronted by Shane after being caught trying to hide the cache of guns. Shane doesn’t like this one bit and the pair have a very direct heart to heart during which Dale threatens to shoot Shane but eventually backs down. Shane got the guns back. Shane is all about the guns this episode.
Other things are happening. We learn how Doc Hershel collects zombies for the barn after two get stuck in the swamp. He enlists Rick’s help to rope them using whatever the heck those things that dog catchers use with the noose at the end of a long pole. Rick clearly hasn’t been able to get the fact that zombies are dead flesh through the good Doc’s brain as the Doc still thinks he can save them somehow. Annnnnnd … well, Shane and the rest of the team see the zombies being led to the barn so naturally Shane finally … loses … his … freaking … mind.
Shane smashes open the barn. Zombies start spilling out. Andrea, T-Dog, Shane and Glen start shooting them whilst Doc Hershel drops to his knees and has a melt down. And then finally … finally after weeks and weeks and weeks, teeny tiny zombie Sophia shambles out. We’re all shocked … shocked I tell you! Rick is the only guy with the balls to actually shoot her because the rest of the group is fairly stunned. (I won’t get into how Sophia’s mum earlier on seems to have resigned herself to the fact that her daughter is dead. I also won’t get into the fact that the best character this season, Darryl, is woefully underutilized yet again.)
And that’s how the show ended. Dead zombie Sophia amid a pile of dead zombies. A lot of crying and the team fracturing. The best character in this episode was Shane. He’s a man with nothing left. He’s told Lori that Rick doesn’t have it in him to survive. We are going to see a Team Shane and a Team Rick, I think, for the rest of the season.
Final thoughts – I still enjoy the show. I just wish it wasn’t so predictable.
This is a really short review – also, episode five was the hand’s-down best episode of the season to date… sooooo, here’s the skinny:
1) Sophie is STILL freaking missing at the start of the episode
2) Darryl is THE MAN
3) Andrea is still a bitch and apparently, a lousy shot
4) Lori is knocked up
5) Rick still looks pale
6) Glen is in love
7) Doc Herschel is a control freak and likes to collect things.
8) Shane is losing it
9) Sophie is STILL freaking missing at the end of the episode.
That is all.
***Happy Halloween! Warning – Spoliers***
Last night’s third episode of the new season of The Walking Dead opens with steaming hot water spilling out of a shower head and Shane giving himself a buzz cut. Why? Because something happened when he want back to that zombie infested High School to scrounge up badly needed medical supplies so the vet can do some equally badly needed surgery on poor Carl who is literally at death’s door.
It turns out that Shane and Otis (remember him? He’s the guy who accidentally shot Carl during the close encounters of the deer kind at the end of the season opener) managed to get the medical supplies but are being chased through the hallway at the high school by a swarm of the living dead. Will they make it? Well, somebody does. I didn’t give Otis much hope of surviving a foot race with the monsters since he’s about four hundred pounds.
Downstairs, Sheriff Rick (who looks to be fairly drained of blood now) is munching away on a sandwich (where did he get that? And why does this comfy farmhouse have power and hot water, while we’re at it? It is the apocalypse, after all) while wife Lori maintains a constant vigil at Carl’s bedside.
Meanwhile at the Winnebago, Sophie is still MIA and Darryl gets sick of listening to her mother sobbing about her missing daughter, so he and Andrea decide to recommence the search, just the two of them, in the middle of the night avec big-ass flashlights. Old man Dale, the spiritual leader of the group, asks Darryl if it’s a good idea (read: hey I don’t think you should be going out into the woods with flashlights that can attract zombies after dark) and Andrea (who is only slightly less bitchy this episode) basically tells him to pound salt. She’s good that way.
Back at the high school, Shane and Otis run through the gym which is where many people have met their doom in other zombie movies, btw, find a safe place atop the bleachers. They decide to split up: Otis will draw the zombies’ attention and flee via the locker room, while Shane jumps out of a 20-foot-high window. Otis starts to run and a legless zombie grabs his leg! (Note the irony there) Shane makes it to the window and zombies chase him up the stairs. He clubs ’em, breaks the window and climbs outside. Just before he jumps, a zombie tries to get at Shane through the window and is promptly shot in the face as Shane falls, twisting his ankle badly.
Back at the farm, Glen and T-Dog arrive. T-Dog still looks pretty rough but no worries, he’ll get stitched up and be good to go in no time. Lori is having an existential crisis and muses to Rick about whether this new scary zombie infested world is the best place to raise a kid. She’s hinting that maybe its best for Carl to pass on into the next world and Rick, tears in his eyes, pleads with his wife to get her head out of her ass.
Meanwhile back in the woods, Darryl and Andrea find a zombie swinging from a noose. Turns out the guy had been bitten and ended it all before turning – guess he didn’t realize you have to shoot yourself in the head if you want to avoid resurrecting into a zombie. The creature’s legs have been chewed down to the bone and Andrea barfs. She’s starting to realize that maybe being alive isn’t necessarily a bad thing because look what happened to this guy who committed suicide?
Flash to the farmhouse. Lori is still all existential crisisy. The doc, Hershel, tells Rick and Lori that they absolutely have to decide to operate ASAP to save Carl but Carl will probably die anyway. Meh.
Back at the high school, things look pretty bad for Shane. He’s got creeps hot on his heels and things look hopeless until Otis shows up. Back at the farmhouse, Maggie sneaks up on Glen who is praying. There’s an exchange about faith and then she heads back into the house.
Back at the high school, Otis and Shane are running for their lives. Will they make it?
At the farmhouse, the Doc is just about to operate when Shane arrives with the goods to save poor Carl. He breaks the news that Otis didn’t make it. The Doc informs them that they’ll tell Otis’s wife after the surgery and Shane heads inside to take a shower but only after looking in on Carl and Lori who Shane still pines for.
And now we’re back in the shower. Shane is checking out his head for scratches and bumps and begins the process of clipping his hair off as he recalls what really happened at the high school. Yes, you see, Otis and Shane were nearly out of bullets save for just a couple so Shane shoots Otis in the leg thereby providing a four hundred pound buffet for the living dead and securing a chance to escape. Poor Otis is torn to pieces (but we knew he was going to die because the fat guy always dies in zombie lore) and Shane gets away .
Shane, you ignorant prick. How could you do that to poor Otis?
Thus ends the third episode. Sophie is still … freaking … missing. Andrea is still pissy at Dale and Shane is starting to come apart. Overall this was a good episode and I like how we’re seeing Shane’s sanity or values or whatever the hell you want to call it begin to unravel. I like how Darryl (who is becoming my favorite guy on the show) is taking charge. Dale is getting kind of boring but then he is old and wise and he does have a beard. The writers aren’t doing much with Glen at all this season, so I suspect he’ll be zombie chow in an upcoming episode. I’m also starting to wonder if Shane, having lost the love of his life to his best friend that he thought was dead and after having murdered poor Otis to save himself isn’t going to off himself at some point.
As a footnote, I watched another zombie movie yesterday on SyFy. It’s called Zombie Apocalypse, a SyFy original movie. It sucked. It blew. It was terrible and Ving Rhames has gained about a jillion pounds. The effects were terrible and in one scene, I actually saw a zombie run away from the chick with the sword. Clearly the writers have never seen The Walking Dead
*** Warning Spoilers ***
Episode two starts off with a flashback to just days before the zombie apocalypse and Shane arriving at Carl’s school to let Lori know that her husband Rick has been shot. (This exists to contrast the fact that Lori has to learn that Carl was accidentally shot by a hunter at the end of episode one last week, I think.) Flash forward to the here and now and we find Rick carrying his badly wounded son Carl to a farmhouse with Shane and an obese hunter who accidentally shot poor Carl hot on Rick’s heels. They’re headed to a lovely looking farmhouse that doesn’t have plywood nailed into the window frames – it’s a doctor’s house, well, a kind of doctor, but we’ll get to that.
Meanwhile, Darryl is in a leadership role and by golly, they still can’t find that rotten Sophia who doesn’t ever freaking listen. Remember her? She’s the kid who bolted for the bush last week when the migrating zombies of doom decided to march through the highway of death. (They still haven’t found her by the end of episode two, incidentally.) Darkness is setting in pretty soon, the searchers will have to head back to the Winebago and resume the search in the morning.
Back at the Winebago, Dale Horvath has discovered that T-Dog has blood poisoning from that amazing cut he sustained during last week’s episode. T-Dog, in a delerium, suggests that both he and Dale grab the Winebago and go on a road trip because Dale is old and T-Dog is black whereas everybody else is not old and not black and clearly of the redneck variety. Dale chastises T-Dog and begins a search for antibiotics in the hundreds of cars on the highway of death because poor T-Dog is losing it.
Back in the woods, our intrepid searchers begin to head back to the highway when Andrea (who is my least favorite character on the show) nearly winds up getting chomped on by a rogue zombie when she is saved by a woman on horseback brandishing a Louisville Slugger baseball bat. She’s the daughter of that sort of doctor I mentioned earlier. She’s there to grab Lori and bring her back to the farmhouse.
Oh, and the Doctor is a vet. He’s doing the best he can to save poor Carl (including turning Rick into a vampire by using Rick’s blood for transfusions) but there’s a lot of bullet fragments inside Carl and the Doc needs to do some surgery. Turns out there’s a FEMA station at the high school up the road. The last time Otis (the guy who shot poor Carl) was there, it was swarming with zombies. Otis volunteers to go with Shane to get the stuff the good Doctor needs to save Carl’s life amid Rick’s protests that he should go, that it’s his fault Carl was shot. Shane threatens to break Rick’s legs if he goes and Otis hops into a truck with Shane to get the goods.
Lori arrives and has a bit of a meltdown. She also comes remarkably close to bitching at the Doctor about the Doctor not being qualified to perform surgery on humans because he’s a vet. I believe she made reference in a snide way to the Doctor having performed surgery on cows and pigs. Rick cuts her off, thankfully and back at the high school, well, it is positively infested with the living dead.
Back at the Winebago in the best scene from the entire episode, Daryl it turns out has a pharmacy worth of illegal drugs including antibiotics in case he gets the clap, so it looks like T-Dog is going to make it. They’ve been told to head to that farmhouse but darn it, Sophia is still missing so they ain’t goin’ nowehere until they find her.
Darkness has settled in as Shane and Otis scope out the high school They find some road flares in the back of an abandoned police car and toss them away from the FEMA trailer as a diversion and the pair sneak into the trailer to get the goods … but, who knew, the zombies got bored with the flares and have resumed shuffling aimlessly around the trailer, so Shane and Otis have to make a run for it. Hijinks ensue. (Meaning, duh, of course they’re going to be chased into the high school Saw that coming from a mile away.)
That’s how last night’s episode ended. Carl is still at death’s door. Rick looks like he’s turning into a vampire. Andrea is still a bitch. Dale is still the spiritual leader of the group. Darryl is turning out to be my favorite character. Lori is probably still pregnant and kind of a bitch. Rick blames himself for pretty much everything and the zombies, well, they’re still zombies. (Oh and we still have no idea where one-handed Merle is.)
I have mixed feelings about the episode because, like episode one, it was really … really … slow. The zombie that Lori nearly succumbed to happened about two-thirds of the way through the episode and I guess what bothers me is that all of what happened last night was really, very predictable.
What makes zombie-lore so damned scary is, well, zombies. It’s the fact that the monsters are everywhere and I found myself at the halfway mark last night wondering if there were going to be any zombies in last night’s show about the zombie apocalypse. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy watching and I’m not ready to write it off. But geez, this season is so grindingly slow right now that I could actually feel myself aging while I watched.
Hopefully next week the pacing picks up.