Monday, February 13, 2012

the walking dead: nebraska

when did networks begin to break up the broadcast season in half? amc did just that with the walking dead. if you follow the show then you know the premise is a group of individuals led by deputy sheriff rick grimes [brilliantly realized by actor andrew lincoln] trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. the first half of season two was left on a cliffhanger. the grimes group took shelter on a farm owned by hershel, a man guided by his christian faith, and who believed that the walkers -- zombies -- were only sick and that maybe there eventually would be a cure. the cliffhanger: a little girl from grimes' group disappeared and as the group took refuge on hershel's farm they looked for the little girl.

the girl was not to put it bluntly hope that maybe the world will eventually recover. at the end of the first half of season two we discover hershel kept family members who turned to zombies in a barn. the barn, in a moment of panic and bravado of one of grimes' members, shane, liquidated the walkers from the barn. the last to emerge from the gloom of the barn was the little girl grimes' group put so much hope on.

tonight's episode begins with grimes' gun still smoking as he put a bullet into the head of the dead zombie child. hope is gone. or is it. one of the frequent criticisms of the series is the lack of zombies. especially for a zombie centered piece of tv fiction. but what i find fascinating about the series is not the fact that there are zombies. it's how people would cope and try to survive in such a world. thus when grimes goes out in search of hershel, who is in shock after the barn massacre, and find hershel at an old watering hole as hershel tries to drink the horror right out of him, that's when the shit hits the fan.

for suddenly hershel, grimes, and glenn [a young man that grimes relies on and who's love interest, the daughter of hershel, just told loves him], are set upon by two live strangers. who are these guys and what do they want. ambiguity is the theme of the day. these two strangers maybe lost orphans of the mad world or they could be agents of chaos set to take what is not given them.

that's what i love about this show. how people react and behave in a world gone nuts. does rick do the right thing, or has he gone cold. rick grimes so far is the moral lead. shane, his longtime friend and fellow deputy sheriff, is the heartless pragmatist willing to kill in order to achieve his goals. the roles have not switched but there is another layer added to grimes as he does what he thinks is not only good for survival but good for our species.

i watched that penultimate scene between the strangers and grimes four times now. i think grimes did the right thing. especially as the scene is constructed. time will play out if that was indeed the right action. in this universe of the walking dead perhaps the moral compass is busted. what makes right is simply survival. i don't know. i do know is that i can't wait for next week's show.


Post a Comment

<< Home