The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – Nebraska

photo: amc/russell kaye

photo: amc

The Walking Dead

Original Air Date: Feb 12, 2012

Rachel – Sr. Managing Editor

Episode 8 picks up right after one of the most devastating events in television history. I am not exaggerating. I have nightmares of Sophia staggering out of that barn. And if we have learned anything from the Scream franchise, that quiet after the chaos is very dangerous. Double-tap, people, double-tap. Beth, Hershel’s second daughter goes to her mother’s body… but that walker wasn’t quite dead. The group comes together to save Beth, and I have a feeling it’s the last time they work as a team.

As the family heads back to the farmhouse, Hershel declares that Rick’s group is to be off the property post-haste. Everyone deals with the grief and shock in their own ways. Rick and Shane have a few heated words (“You’re just as delusional as Hershel!’), Andrea starts making preparations for a funeral service (“We bury the ones we love and burn the rest.”), Carl turns into an unfeeling robot (“I’d have shot her, too.”), and Glenn tests his relationship with Maggie (“Maybe it’s for the best… now we can move on”).

Carol doesn’t really feel like going to the funeral. That’s not her little girl out there. Her little girl died a long time ago. As a mother myself, I can understand her need to think that Sophia didn’t starve or cry herself to sleep or desperately search for her mother when all hope was lost. Carol has decided to believe that Sophia didn’t suffer through all of that. In a strange way, it is comforting.

Hershel, on the other hand, is not at peace with anything. He goes to his room to pack his wife’s things. He truly thought she would be cured and that they would pick up right where they left off. He had hope, but now all he has is a yard full of bodies. He finds an flask in a drawer and gets an idea. After the funeral, he disappears… which is horrible timing because soon thereafter, Beth collapses in shock and is in dire need of a doctor (or veterinarian, as the case may be).

Putting the pieces together, Rick (of course, because he has to fix everything) and Glenn head to town to the local bar. (I might add that Lori is completely against Rick going, letting him in on the fact that Carl is turning cold and needs a father around that shows compassion.) They find Hershel just this side of drunk and try to get him to come home and help Beth. Hershel talks about how she just needs to mourn for her mother, something he wouldn’t let her do before because he was selfish. Hope doesn’t exist anymore for him. Rick tells him that nothing has changed. Death has always been a part of life. It is not about their belief, it is about the belief of those they are trying to protect.

Meanwhile, Dale tells Lori that he thinks Shane killed Otis. He can’t prove it of course, but Shane all but said it. His logic follows, too. Otis knew how to handle walkers, he was the one putting them in the barn after all. Dale thinks that it is only a matter of time before Shane kills someone else. Lori is very disturbed but says that Shane is not a murderer. When Beth takes a turn for the worse, Lori decides to go out after Rick and Glenn to help them get Hershel back (not before asking a very pissed-off Daryl for help… he declined). Looking at a map while driving, she plows into a walker and flips the car. That can’t be good.

Back at the bar, two strangers show up. You know what is the scariest thing in a zombie narrative? It’s not the zombies. It’s the humans… especially the unknown ones. Dave and Tony from Philly seem cordial enough, until they start asking about where our group is holed up. They are just following “one pipe dream to the next” and tell Rick, Hershel, and Glenn that the last rumor of a safe haven was Nebraska. Fort Benning, where the group was heading before Sophia got lost, has been overrun by walkers. Tension builds and builds with Dave trying to get intel and weasel in on the good circumstances of the farm. Knowing this isn’t going to end well, Rick keeps his hand on his gun. When Dave draws, Rick is faster and shoots Dave in the head. He puts a few extra bullets into Tony for good measure, perhaps to make certain they don’t become walkers, but more likely because he was angry.

What do YOU think? I know this was a very Readers Digest version of the episode, but so freakin’ much happened! What do you think about Rick killing the strangers? Is he turning ‘Shane’ or was is a simple question of protecting his people. I bet it says something to Hershel that Rick was willing to kill to protect his farm. What do YOU think? Give us your Two Cents on the episode in the comment section below!

Next Week: Triggerfinger

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8 Responses to The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – Nebraska

  1. Donna says:

    Hey Rachel, great recap. I’m thinking what took place in the bar will allow the gang to stay in the barn. That was a riveting scene.

    The Philly guys (Hey there, Rene Lenier from True Blood!) were shady, but they were just trying to survive in the zombie-world like our gang was before they found the haven of the barn. It’s very cruel to turn away people dealing with the same desperation that you yourself were in just a few short weeks ago. I guess their shadiness (& lack of women and children?) permitted their deaths, and most importantly, Herschel got to see how valuable benevolent-muscle Rick could be to him and his family if the gang stays on the farm.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree that the events in the bar will endear Rick and his group to Hershel, but I’m not sure if the “turning away” was wrong. That is one of the great things about the show – it makes you think ‘If I were in the situation, what would I do?’ I’m sure Rick would like to help anyone he could, as long as it didn’t hurt his family, Letting these two creeps (let me just pee in the corner here) who have obviously lost all morals into the barn would be been a disaster, And by the looks of the previews for next week, the Philly group is pretty big and, well, trigger happy.

  2. well, the moment lori wrecked her car, my thoughts went to rick saying something like “we cant leave yet, my wife is hurt and pregnant” and once rick handled the guys in the bar, i began to think that with an injured wife, and protection from a threat, hershell will know that he needs rick around.

    those guys were not looking for a place to stay….they were casing the town, and hoping to case the farm. Scout it for their friends, i thought that the moment they started mentioning that their vehicles were not loaded down and such…they knew what to watch for… (and the preview for next week does show a shoot out with some of the friends of the dead guys in the bar)

    • Rachel says:

      Good call on those guys ‘knowing what to look for.’ Rick killing them has really polarized the audience. Some thought it was heartless, others (myself included) thought it was the right thing to do. Especially when they started asking if there were any girls at their camp. Creepy. I’m glad Rick shot them, but it looks like you’re right – the consequences look pretty wild west.

  3. I agree with Jimmy. It is hard to tell when people meet under circumstances like the one in the show. However, these guys from Philly, did draw first and Rick reacted like a cop should. If you are meeting people who could give you shelter and decide not to then you are either going to take what they have or find a way to co-exist. I think that this episode actually brings everybody’s feeling and places them on the table. As much as the group needs Shane, Dale is right, he is dangerous. As much as Rick tries to be a good leader, he spend too much time second guessing his own decisions. He spends to much time with regret when he should concentrate on the here and now and forget the past. Shane is not only dangerous because of his desire and want and need to be “the man.” All his life he has been Rick’s partner who is the man and now that he sees Rick as weak he sees an opportunity to try to take his place as both the undeniable leader of the pack but also the Alpha male that he hopes would appeal to Lori and Carl. Lori is right, Carl needs Rick as his father. As I said before Rachel, good review.

    • Rachel says:

      Thanks, Robert. You’re right – if you are an honest, moral person who asks for shelter and is turned down, you move on. If you’re not that type, you resort to taking by force. I guess I shouldn’t judge because I haven’t been in that desperate of a situation, but I think that is what is great about this show – If humanity is destroyed, would you destroy your own ‘humanity.’ The million dollar question.

  4. Shawn Rose says:

    Rick shot “Scrawny” Tony in the head after he was clearly dead. But even after that, he stays and WATCHES him. I think that a walker bite only kills you, but doesn’t turn you to a walker. I dont think it matters HOW you die that dictates if you come back as a walker. My theory is that ANY death, no matter the cause and you become a walker.

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