TV Review: The Walking Dead: Nebraska

After the first half of the season ended with Shane passing out guns and unleashing the zombies in the barn (and – of course – finding the now zombified Sophia), many of us were anxiously anticipating the return of The Walking Dead to see what sort of repercussions there would be. Tonight we found out: not many, really. Sure, Hershel and his family were upset, and ordered everyone off their land, and Dale and Shane continue to butt heads, but otherwise there wasn’t as much tension as I would have expected.

The Walking Dead: Nebraska

But maybe that’s because I’m looking for something more immediate and visceral, and it looks like The Walking Dead is going to take a slower, subtler approach to things, perhaps inspired by it’s sister shows, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. That might be wishful thinking, of course, but I’m interested to see how it shakes out.

We already see some tension brewing between the parts of the camp (T Dog and Andrea) who think Shane did the right thing, and everyone else, with Dale being the loudest of the detractors. Meanwhile, Daryl is glowering and withdrawing from the group (and also making his own crossbow bolts? Bad.Ass.) and Hershel skips out on everyone to go tie one on at the bar. This is not the cohesion the group should be striving for.

Other than that, people are pretty much going about their business. Bodies are picked up and tossed in the back of a truck, an ad hoc funeral is held for the few zombies people recognize, Glenn and Maggie fight and work on evolving their relationship. Life on the farm continues, but it seems like the stakes have been raised.

But then Beth (I had to look up the character’s name) suddenly falls ill, and everyone realizes Hershel is gone. Rick and Glenn decide to go find him and drag him home, which – predictably – turns into a fight. Stranger still, when Rick and Glenn find Hershel sitting in the bar, and tell him that his daughter is unresponsive and needs immediate medical attention, he hand waves it off like he can’t be bothers. It’s bizarre.

While Rick and Glenn are working on Hershel, Beth takes a turn for the worst, which means Lori gets a wild hair up her ass about getting Hershel, Rick, and Glenn back, post haste. Her attempts to get Daryl to find them fall on deaf ears, so she hops in a car and takes off. And I don’t get it at all. Lori doesn’t strike me as an impetuous character, and her husband is already out rounding up the doctor. What, exactly, does she think she’s going to accomplish here? You know, other than not looking at the road, hitting a zombie, and somehow managing to roll her car.

While the episode as a whole was solid, the Lori cliffhanger really bothered me. It’s like the writers needed to put a character in danger, and had some special effects budget to blow, so they mashed the scene together without a whole lot of thought. Let’s not forget, Lori’s pregnant. And she’s got a son to look after. These are awfully big risks for a person to take in these circumstances, and in rings totally false to me. If you need a female character who has no problem making poorly thought through snap decisions, why not use Andrea? That’s what she’s there for.

But enough of that, because things got really interesting at the bar. Just as everyone is ready to leave, in walks a couple of dudes from Philly (one of whom is Rene from True Blood). You can tell immediately that these guys are shady, and will be putting Rick and company in a tight spot soon enough, but The Walking Dead manages to wring every bit of tension out of the scene. It’s supremely suspenseful, and plays on the show’s major strengths. The quick-draw shootout at the end is just icing on the cake.

While the episode had some low points (Lori), it was a pretty great way to draw us back after the mid-season break. We got tension both slowburning and fast, at the farm and the barn, respectively. I’m excited to see where this season goes, although I really hope it’s off the farm, because I’m getting sick of this damn farm.

Grade: B

29 Comments

Angelina

I felt the same about Lori. I absolutely don’t like her but that was seriously cheesey.

When I saw “Rene” I was all like “woot-woot!!” I was thinking he would make a great Governor. The end of the bar scene was great but the back and forth between Hershel and Rick was just boring.

Btw – will someone kill Shane already! lol

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Dave

I think you’ll probably have to wait until the end of season to see Shane offed or pushed out of the group. That’s finale material right there.

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Tom Walsh

I think the best part of the whole episode was the strangers in the bar. I was interested in the story, but was busying fiddling with some lego thing next to me, but that scene had me forgetting my fiddling. I keep hoping it’s a prelude to the woodbury thing, cause I don’t really see the prison being possible in the tv series.

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Angelina

When the fat guy peed on the floor right next to them I was all like “yuck! kill that asshole!”

That was really great! I liked that we were suddenly in Hershel’s shoes not wanting to share the farm.

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Silver Fox

It was very easy to see that Lori was going to hit a zombie with her car the moment she got in the car and they started the scene and her looking at the map.

I rather expect some of the slow tension that’s happening to play out over a bit of time.

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Christian Matzke

Of course the car flipping was in the trailer, so didn’t we all see it coming??

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l3m0nm4n

The episode was great, it had some highlights; but my favorite part was when they were driving the bodies away in the truck and the arm fell off and andrea just went and picked it up as if it was just nothing unusual.

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C4guy

Me and my brothers agree that this episode was a bit of a disappointment. 1. When the arm falls off the truck and Andrea goes to fetch it we expected something to happen but it turned out it was…”uneventful”. 2. This whole farm thing is getting really boring and I need some action. 3. The whole thing with Lori crashing the car was intresting but they should have left it for the end of the episode. It was kind of stupid to watch her crash in the middle of the episode and then not go back to her. I hate Shane with a passion. I agree that what he did was necessary but he was just a butthole about it. Me and my brothers are now debating about who will die next? Will Meryl come back in this season?

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Dave

I liked the arm thing, and I’m glad nothing happened. I thought it was demonstrative of how much these people have changed. Andrea just kind of picked it up and tossed it in the truck. No muss, no fuss.

As far as who dies next? My guess is T-Dog. He’s been completely ancillary for a while, so his death won’t matter, but he’s been in the cast since the beginning, so he’d count as the killing of a main character.

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Yatkuu

Ok, just watched the episode… Yeah, Europe means 1 day delay.
I’m surprised nobody mentionned the zombie kill of the week… Andrea with a scythe! It was completely unnecessary and very dangerous but very cool nonetheless. My favorite part was also the bar scene…for a few minutes Rick was back to being a cop reading a pair of criminals. I think there was some very good acting there, great scene.
Oh, and I wish Lori dies in that car.

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Dave

I’ve read a lot of discussion of this episode today, and there are a lot of fans who are hoping that Lori died right there. You’re in good company, sir.

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Replica

I think this was a reasonable episode, and I liked that not much happened, except for one thing. Lori and the car? Why, TWD, why? I don’t like Lori but this is just weird and unneeded. I suppose it adds some danger and a chance to either loose her (I want this, but I can’t see much value to it. We would never get Judith and Rick and Carl would be sad, maybe giving Carl a bit more development towards being more like in the comics, which I would like to see, but ultimately would be a waste, no matter how much I and a fair few others don’t like Lori) or give another character a hero moment but this is stupid.

The scene in the bar was nice, and actually drew me to the point of finding some screencaps (Dave drew first and Rick scored a clean headshot, neither of which I would have noticed otherwise, and which makes a lot more sense).

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zombiemutts

Its impossible for anyone to like this show who has read the comic which is an audience that is impossible to please.

And that goes for just about anything like it. A show just can’t tell the same story as a book can. Its rare that a movie or show does a better job than its original form.

Children of Men and Game of Thrones are some rare exceptions.

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Siabur

Here’s how the whole show should be. Take a bunch of people with no personallities, make sure they are stereotyped instead. And do nothing but an hour of zombie killing. Off a few everyweek and add new stereotyped characters weekly. Perfect zombie show!

I personally like the character development. Keeps me wanting to see what’s going to happen with them. So if it slows the show down, so be it. The characters that have been developed and focused on are the ones who seem to draw out the most emotions. I’m really interested in Carl’s character. I’ve never read the books, and I’ve heard interesting things.

Hershal getting drunk and not acting responsible is the way many people act when they have their world shattered, then get reality forced upon them. Depression happens and this can be an effect. Looks like this group of newcomers is a bit more hostle than the “vatos” from Atlanta. Now in my opinion, this was a good set up ep.

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Dave

But the thing is, I don’t think TWD is developing the characters in interesting, let alone realistic ways. They’re stereotypes with some extra quirks added on, at least form where I’m sitting.

That said, there’s some potential here for some of the characters, particularly Daryl, Glenn, and Carl.

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Nikolai

You know, I watched the first two episodes (of the first season), but I can’t say that I care for it. I believe that there’s a line between endless zombie killing and a zombie show about humans which is very hard to stay on; and in my opinion The Walking Dead Just is too much talk and not enough action. That being said, calm moments are vital to building characters, but there are so many that the characters have become extremely average to me. Just my two cents.

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Dave

It’s a frustratingly uneven show, and the characters aren’t nearly as consistent or well developed as they should be. That said, it does do a lot right.

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Nikolai

I’ll watch some more episodes, then give some more feedback. In other news, have you seen the new Minecraft sets?

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Nikolai

Yes, they were cute, but Mini is not my favorite Genre. I was really looking forward to special Creeper legs, a Steve head, and 2×2’s with colors swirled in for Ores.

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