Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: The Walking Dead "Secrets"

Non Spoiler Review:
Secrets is definitely the most chatty and character driven episode his season. While a lot was said and everyone seemed to have a talk with everyone else, not a lot happened otherwise, and it felt considerably slower than what we've been used to. 

Sophia is still missing. That allows Andrea and Shane some bonding time, and Lori and Glen and Maggie and Dale to trade secrets about pregnancy and walkers in the barn and suspicions about Otis' death. Rick continues to urge Hershel to allow them to stay on the farm to little success, but by the end of the episode quite a few of the secrets catch up to everyone.

I realize the writer is establishing such a sense of peace and tranquility that when they pull the rug out from under everything (next week) it will be that much more shocking. A lot of important comic book stuff did happen as far as advancing the characters in their respective roles—including Andrea's savvy with a gun—but next week had better end the mid-season on a bang or I'll really feel the show has slipped this year.

Spoilers Now!
Carl is up and about helping his mother feed the chickens. But Patricia has taken off with some of the hens (whose legs she breaks) and heads to the barn where she feeds them to the walkers. 

Meanwhile, Maggie has asked Glen to keep quiet about the barn's contents. He's also keeping Lori's secret, too, and considering he's so terrible at lying, he urges her to let Rick know given all the help she'll need.

Andrea apologizes to Daryl for the whole shooting in the head thing, and he's pretty laid back about it and just suggests she not try it again.

Prior to going out on the search, Shane takes their crew out on the range to practice shooting skills, including Patricia and Hershel's other family members. Carl wants to, as well and approaches Shane with a gun he's carrying. Dale had let him into the RV and Carl had stolen it. Lori is so not impressed with that, and that leads to a serious discussion where Rick agrees to let Carl learn to shoot, despite their parental concerns.

Once everyone's gone, Glen confesses to Dale about the walkers and Lori's pregnancy so Dale decides to confront him. Hershel tells him he doesn't shoot sick people, and that's what the walkers are. His wife and stepson are in the barn, and he suggests the best thing Dale could do is keep it to himself given some of the trigger-happy people in his group.

On the firing range, Andrea is proving to be an expert marksman, so gets bumped up a level for some more difficult sharpshooting training with Shane. She takes the opportunity to ask him what changed about his decision to leave, but he doesn't answer. 

Lori finds out from Hershel that he expects them to be leaving soon, which comes as a big surprise to her. She confronts Rick about keeping that fact from everyone and tells him he has to change his mind. As if Lori didn't have enough on her mind to be bitchy about, Dale tells her he knows she's pregnant. While Dale is aware she and Shane were together on the road, Lori protests that she can't tell Rick that.  She believes there's no hope for joy for their baby, much less Carl, and challenges Dale to convince her that any child will live to his ripe old age anymore.

Andrea and Shane team up to investigate a housing development, but what they find is a house full of dead people while outside walkers begin to surround them. They shoot their way out, and in that intense environment Andrea seems to find her mojo and her reason for living, and calmly begins to pick them off. Following that escape, Andrea's pretty aroused and she and Shane do it in the car on the way home.

Lori asks Glen to make another run into town for her, so he and Maggie go off together. She's annoyed with Glen for telling Dale about the barn, but when she gets attacked by a walker at the pharmacy and Glen kills it, her attitude about the zombies seems to abruptly change. When they get back Maggie pitches a fit on Lori for sending them on their mission and throws down her abortion pills at her feet. She tells Glen he needs to smarten up because all his so-called friends just use him for walker-bait.

Lori apologizes to Glen. They're actually Morning After pills and she's not even sure they'll work, but given it's the apocalypse, she has to improvise. Forward thinking Glen also brought her prenatal vitamins too, with the suggestion that she not make her choice alone. Lori does, in fact, take the pills but throws them up.

Dale notices Andrea and Shane acting odd upon their return, so when he's alone he suggests Shane should just take the car and leave given he seems to know what kind of a man Shane is. He suspects there's more to Otis' death than he's telling, given he saw him raise his gun on Rick in the past. Shane counters that if that were all true and he's a raging lunatic, it's probably not a good idea to piss him off. 

Back at the tent, Rick finds all the pregnancy supplies. This comes as a surprise to him, so he confronts Lori. After a bit of a fight where he digests the baby reveal, he asks if there's anything else he should know about. She confesses she and Shane were together. Of course he's known, he says.

The Verdict:
While it made for a bit of a quiet episode, there were copious amounts of revelations being passed back and forth, all to set up the finale next week. I do applaud the show for not stretching out Lori's secret for too long and letting Rick reveal he knew about her and Shane.

So my suspicion that Jenner told him she was pregnant is not true. He told him something else equally disturbing. Does it involve the virus itself, which would tie back into the books? That would mean that for all of Rick's optimism, he's been carting around an even bigger secret that would affect everyone.

Hershel appears to be the lone voice in trying to get the group off his farm. Maggie seems to have come around a bit in her feelings about the walkers after nearly being killed by one. Her siblings haven't received near enough attention to get a sense of where their loyalties lie, either, but they do seem excited at the prospect of having other people on the farm. What's Hershel to do if everyone sides against him?

Andrea's resurrection is a welcome one. Her suicidal tendency was a good (and thankfully brief) stage in her growth, but I'm happy to see her character take her place as a major player now. I figured an Andrea/Shane pairing was probably inevitable the longer he stuck around, but I don't think it can last if the truth starts coming out about Lori's baby and Shane starts feeling like a daddy.

Some subtle, but important, developments for Carl continued this week—his matter-of-fact attitude about their situation, as well as learning to shoot are all crucial elements for his evolution. I hope this continues and he will be as important a factor in the series as he is in the books.

Future developments will reflect on how important Secrets was to this season. There's a lot of set up here, and everything will depend on how big a conclusion we get next week, and if we begin to get a sense of direction of where this group is going.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...