Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead "Triggerfinger"

Non Spoiler Review:
The stand off at the bar creates a tense situation for Rick, Glen and Hershel when more strangers show up looking for their friends. Back at the farm, everyone gets anxious about where they (and Lori) are. The final result further splits the survivors into two camps that appear on an inevitable collision course.

While not as slow as last week (there was a tense scene in town, at least), the plot is still dragging. I'm getting so tired of seeing that farm, it was refreshing to have more action occur in a different setting. While most of the character bits are usually pretty good, it's all still overly talkie (and this is from someone who loves character development). Time to move this group on, because I feel I've grown roots watching.

Spoilers Now!
As Rick, Hershel and Glen prepare to head back to the farm they hear a truck approach. More men get out, calling for Dave and Tony. Hidden in the bar, Rick braces the door, alerting them they're inside. The men say they're just looking for their friends and don't want trouble. Rick finally shouts out that they drew guns on them, and he shot them in self-defence, and that's what happens now in this crazy world, so they should just let bygones be bygones. Rick appeals to reason, but it turns into a shooting match.

Glen is sent out to try for the car under Rick and Hershel's cover. Hershel manages to wound one guy who starts crying (loudly) for help. Rick goes after Glen who's having a panic attack behind a dumpster. Suddenly more men show up in a truck, warning their other guys that roamers are everywhere and they have to get out. One jumps off a roof and is injured, so both men are left screaming and drawing walkers as their compatriots abandon them.

Hershel watches the one he shot get eaten alive, while Rick checks on the other. The young man has his leg impaled on a metal fence. Hershel realizes there's no way they can get him free without tearing him to pieces and suggests they put him down. He doesn't want to see any more killing. Glen proposes they take the leg off, but the kid pleads with them not to. So Glen holds off the walkers as they make preparations, but the swarm is too large and Rick ultimately rips the kid's leg off the fence.

Lori wakes up in the overturned car to a walker scratching at the window. She barely manages to escape after killing it, finds her gun and dispatches the second one, then sets about walking down the dark highway. 

At the farm, the rest of the group and Hershel's family sit down to dinner, worried that everyone else should be back by now, and that Lori is apparently missing, too. Carol goes to tell Daryl, who assumes Lori must have run off into town. Carol's pissed he didn't say anything and pleads with him not to isolate himself from the group now that Sophia's gone. She's determined not to lose him either, but Daryl is very vicious in lashing out at her. She takes it silently, knowing he needs to vent, and he snaps that she should have kept a better eye on Sophia.

Carol comes back to advise the others. Carl's distraught and Shane accuses Dale of knowing Lori left. He heads off in the other car and gets to the crash, and ultimately finds her down the road, but she wants to keep looking for Rick. He lies that they're all back safe and sound, so she returns with him.

When they get back, Lori is, of course, livid when she learns Rick's still missing, and has a big fight with Shane in front of everyone. He explains her safety is his first priority given the baby. Carl didn't know about that and wants to know why she didn't tell him. Dale steps in to make sure Lori's all right and Andrea takes her into the farm house.

Lori is sorry for leaving without telling Carl and not finding the right time to explain about the baby. Shane shows up and apologizes for spilling the beans and wants to talk to Lori privately. She lights into him about his constant lying, and wants to know what happened with Otis. He's adamant that what they shared was real and meant to be, and he's determined to protect them no matter what.

In the morning, as the group prepares to search, Rick, Glen and Hershel return, with the wounded boy Randal whom Hershel later manages to fix without amputation. He'll recover, and the plan is to set him free to return to his group (they did blindfold him on the way back so he hasn't seen where they are). Shane is completely against the idea, given it might draw Randal's people to them and start a war. Rick counters that his own people abandoned him, so it's unlikely and he might even die on the road anyway, but he'll give him a chance. That provokes another confrontation, with Hershel laying down the law that, while he'll let them stay, it's his farm and Shane can just shut up, given they haven't even talked about what happened in the barn yet.

Next, Hershel tends to Beth, but Maggie is angry with him too for leaving without telling her and going off drinking. Glen has to talk with her about what happened, and he's upset that now that she's confessed her love, his first thought was for himself and getting back to her, while Hershel and Rick put their lives on the line for him.

Andrea agrees with all of Shane's decisions, but tells him he needs to present his ideas a little more tactfully to the group. Shane is convinced Rick and Hershel don't know what they're doing and admits he wishes he had taken off with Andrea when they had the chance.

In their tent, Lori commiserates with Rick about the Shane situation, and what's going through his head. Shane thinks the baby is his, but she assures Rick it's his no matter what. Rick says he accepts that. She also reveals her suspicions about Otis—that Shane was sacrificing him in order to protect her. Rick is still torn up with his friendship and reveals that he killed men in town to protect his family. She warns him that Shane has the same attitude when it comes to her and Carl.

The Verdict:
Another mediocre episode that's geared primarily to set Rick and Shane at odds and divide the survivors. There's definitely a confrontation on the horizon, but it remains to be seen how long I want to wait for it to stew. Worse still was Lori's car crash serving solely as the plot device to kick some of these threads into motion.

The series at this point is in a funk. It's stale—I saw the same repetitive scenes of Dale warning Andrea about something or other, Shane being the crazy contrarian, and Daryl being mean and ornery. Damn you, AMC, for your obvious budget cuts.

I can't end on a sour note, though, so I will say I'm pleased with Hershel's growth—He's willing to put up a fight and do what's necessary (even leave someone behind now) to save the group. The other cast members got some time to flesh out their relationships. Carol and Daryl specifically had some welcome screen time, despite it being a retread.

The final question is what arises from Randal's introduction and where his group hails from (Woodbury? I doubt it at this point, though a casual name drop would be exciting). It could all be leading to an assault against the farm that forces everyone to flee, and hopefully to more engaging story lines.


  1. The season has been in a funk, you nailed that on the head, but I think the funk started to break last week, I mean after spending 7 episodes doing nothing it will take a few to get moving again. I find it funny that if Shane wouldn’t have sacrificed Otis to the Walkers, we could have known about Sophia and moved on 4 episodes earlier. I think we will see the show pick up the last 5 episodes of the season, because you are not alone in your voice. They really put the kibosh on the show this season. When it comes to the Lori Shane and Rick thing, Lori is the problem. She is driving Shane batty by not even acknowledging that she jumped in the sack with him when she thought her husband was dead. I mean I would think maybe better chance that the baby belongs to Shane then Rick. This will be interesting if they bring it to a head and pop it tonight and not drag it out for the rest of the season building up tension to have it resolved with a hand shake. You think T-Dogg will die before he ever has more then 3 lines in an episode? I have to admit the last two episodes have covered more ground then the first seven of the season. . I watched Trigger Finger again this morning on AMC’s page on DISH online, tell me the zombie peeling its own face off to get through the hole in the windshield wasn’t awesome because I had to watch it twice.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I totally agree. And 18 Miles Out really started to show things are moving in a good direction again. I don't blame the writer...AMC's budget cuts are really to blame for all this immobility. It was painfully obvious in 18 Miles Out that they blew their wad on the zombie carnage in town and cut most of the cast out of this week's to compensate. It did make for a really concise plot though... both Shane/Rick and Andrea/Lori scenes really worked for me.


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