Or "How To Kill A Perfectly Good Series In It's Second Season"
Due to a change in my schedule and no DVR, I had to catch the replays of these episodes when I could and it prevented timely blogging of them. That and it was hard to type with all the face-palming these episodes produced. I tried, I really want to stick with the show but I'm almost done. I've been patient and accepted more than a few things that have guided Season 2 off track. But I can no longer abide what I'm seeing now.
Episode 5: "Chupacabra". Mostly an excuse for the return of Merle Dixon, inhabited maybe a little too gleefully by Michael Rooker, in a dream sequence. Daryl is injured looking for Sophia and visions of Merle insult him into continued action as he struggles to survive. Rick and Shane debate the wisdom of continuing the search while Hershel is eager for the band to move along. Daryl has stumbled back to the ranch and gets shot by a sharpshooting Andrea, who thought he was a walker. Good thing the bullet "only grazed him." Yeah. Right. Meanwhile, Glen has set up a rendevous with Maggie in the barn and discovers the barn is full of walkers. Walkers that apparently make no noise or produce any smells because it's not like the barn wasn't within plain view from everywhere on the ranch since they've been there. The show has bought a motorcycle and stocked the shark tank.
Episode 6: "Secrets". Hershel tells Dale the walkers are family and "still people" who can be cured. Dale promises to keep it secret. Lori asks Glenn to get her some "Morning After pills" from the pharmacy and while there, Maggie is attacked and Glenn takes out the walker. Maggie's opinion of the barn walkers has shifted. Lori gets an earful from Maggie about getting her own goddam pills and Glenn counsels that Lori's choice might want to include Rick's opinion. In the ongoing search for Sophia, Andrea and Shane go to town and practice killing walkers. Andrea starts to choke but evntually opens fire and takes a liking to it. Dale tries to confront Shane and ends up getting threatened when he implies Otis' death was different from how Shane told it. Rick finds the empty pill wrappers, and Lori (who took and then threw up the pills) goes into tell-all mode spills everything including when she was boning Shane. Rick sucks this up thoughtfully and they debate whether having a kid right now is very smart. The show is on the bike revving the engine.
Episode 7: "Pretty Much Dead Already". The Grimes' have decided to have the baby and raise it in a world where dead people rise and try to eat living people. OK. After Glenn spills about the barn walkers to the group, Rick does the sensible thing and confronts Hershel. In exchange for not shooting the barn walkers, Hershel will allow the Grimes' and anyone else to stay. That makes sense to Rick, of course. But when Shane sees Rick and Hershel leading a pair newly captured walkers back toward the barn for storage, Shane snaps. After arming everybody, Shane breaks the lock on the barn and releases the walkers. Peckinpah-ish violence ensues as Hershel's former family and friends eat various calibers of lead shuffling out into the light. And when the Cutest Little Walker You Ever Did See reveals herself, the entire cast seems to share my horror at how much time was wasted in searching for Sophia. Because nobody from the ranch mentioned, 'Hey, we found this little girl walker that we don't recognize, is this the girl you're looking for?' At anytime.
How different would this season have been if, in Episode 1, Rick had said "Stay close to me, Sophia. We'll get out of here." Like a trained law-enforcement professional would? Or any person with the common sense God gave a gnat? How much more of a story was there without pointlessly running around looking for Sophia? From sprinting zombies to underwritten characters, (why is T-Dog here? Because he's black. Yeah, I said it.) fantastic circumstances ("bullet just grazed him" Really?) and inexplicable character decisions, Season 2 of The Walking Dead was uneven and distracted. There's going to be a Season 3 but if we get more of the same, I think it might be the last one. I think Frank Darabont was missed more than anticipated. Hopefully, we'll get a little more focus and consistency next time out. Season 3 premieres February 12, 2012.