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The Walking Dead: Nebraska

Dave: "There ain't nobody's hands clean in what's left of this world."

It appears that nobody escapes the dehumanizing effects of a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. The death of Sophia has left everyone in shock. The reality of the new world is sinking in, and as Dave points out, "the ugly truth is there is no way out of this mess." But that doesn't mean our group is giving up (wouldn't make for much of a series). As Rick points out, death has always been there, it is just in a new form now.

After waiting for almost two months, I couldn't wait to see what the next moment would bring after the last episode stopped in mid action. I was a little disappointed in how anti-climactic it was, but then I realized that this was how things would actually play out. Nobody would know what to do, and the first order would be what to do with all those bodies. The lull that occurred was misleading, though. The episode ramps up as people begin to show the signs of shock.

Beth is the one who expressed her shock openly and directly, but others are crumbling as well. Shane seems ready to tear apart, and I can't believe that when it happens, it will be anything but ugly. It is obvious, from the scene where he is washing Carol, that he feels terrible about the consequences of storming the barn, but he can't admit that to anyone but her. Again, as a model of traditional masculinity, he takes his hurt and shame and turns it into anger. The scene with Dale was electric. I was so glad that Dale didn't say anything. I think he knew that if he did, Shane would beat him to a pulp. On the other hand, several of the group, including Shane himself, feel that he did what had to be done. Even though Lori said that it was useless to argue over what is already finished, I wonder if this will create a divide. Not to mention that Dale has now told Lori about his suspicions that Shane killed Otis. Maybe Shane will be the catalyst for another division in the group.

Dale says that he knows men like Shane and that he is sure to kill someone else, but it isn't Shane who kills in this episode. I'm not sure if a switch has flipped in Rick or not. Shooting Sophia was necessary, but doing so has cost him. He is a cop and therefore used to measuring people and their intentions, but he did not give an inch to Dave and Tony who were asking for same asylum that he had asked Hershel for -- in some cases, using some of the same words and phrases. Tony was a bit rude and shady, but Dave seemed like a reasonable, albeit desperate guy. Rick did not hesitate to shoot them dead.

Hershel deals with his shock by hitting the bottle as he realizes that all his hopes have been false. Lori is also obviously not thinking straight as she makes the idiotic move of going into town by herself, not knowing where she is going and not telling anyone. Carol is immobilized (understandable) and Daryl is much the same. Poor Daryl. He finally finds a way to connect and express his humanity and caring, and the world throws it back in his face like it always has. I hope he gets over it and goes back to his journey to nice guyness.

There is some relief from this grimness, for example, Glenn being his adorable self. He couldn't believe that Maggie would love him and didn't know what to do if it actually was true. I loved Rick's advice to him. Also, Rick's speech to Hershel about hope and hopelessness wasn't exactly uplifting, but was about love and holding on for those you care about, even if you don't have hope yourself. And I think children, or at least the one child left, Carl, is a source of hope. I disagree with Lori. I don't think Carl is getting cold. He is just a kid adapting to a new world and in his world, you hunt for the people you love and hopefully find them, but if you don't and they've become a walker, it's your job to put a bullet through their head. Is this cold or realistic?

Bits and Pieces

Carol tearing up the Cherokee Rose was heart-rending, as was her realization that in many ways her fears for Sophia had been groundless. Sophia had been dead for a while. This is echoed in the scene where Hershel is putting away his wife's things.

I liked Dave and would have enjoyed getting to know the character better and "lame-brains" is a great term.

Always make sure the walkers are fully dead. Nothing like being attacked by your zombie mom.

At least we are getting to see some strong women. Andrea is starting to kick ass and I loved when Maggie slapped Shane and then Glenn gave him the stink-eye. Unfortunately, this is balanced by Beth collapsing (men collapse too, you know) and Lori being a dumb-ass.

I'm not sure what the arm falling off the truck was meant to accomplish. I guess every episode has to have its gross bits. Although the nonchalant way that Andrea picked it up and threw it on the truck, I guess it did speak volumes about how many times they have had to do this.


Shane: "You had us out in those woods, looking for a little girl that every single one of us knew was dead. That's what you did. Rick, you're just as delusional as that guy. You handled it, hunh."

Glenn: "We've lost others. This is Sophia. Of the whole group, this one was different."

Andrea: "We bury the ones we love and burn the rest."

Shane: "I was just trying to keep everyone safe."

Rick: "It's pretty obvious to everyone that Maggie loves you, and not just because you're one of the last men standing."

Daryl: "Selfish? Listen to me, Olive Oyl, I was looking for that little girl every single day. I took a bullet and an arrow in the process, so don't tell me about getting my hands dirty. You want those two idiots, have a nice ride. I'm done looking for people."

Hershel: "That was the miracle that proved to me miracles do exist. Only it was a sham, a bait and switch."

Hershel: "There is no hope and you know it now like I do, don't you. There is no hope for any of us.

Rick: "Nothing has changed. Death is death, it's always been there."


  1. I thought this was a terrific aftermath episode. I knew Rick, Hershel and Glenn were in trouble as soon as the guy started pissing on the floor and the other started talking about getting laid; I knew our guys were in trouble and the farm was in danger.

    A guest on "The Talking Dead" mentioned that while Shane was washing Carol's hand, he was talking only about himself. That's Shane all over. I know Shane has fans out there, but I have wanted him gone for a long time. What he did to Otis was unforgivable.

    Terrific review, Doc. This has to be a hard show to review.

  2. Very good review - thankyou!

    The thing that keeps me on the edge of my seat in TWD is that you have no idea who will survive from one episode to the next.
    When Glenn and Rick where talking in the car and Rick said something about Glenn telling Maggie he loves her when he got back - I thought that was it for Glenn. And even though it wasn't, I always have an uncomfortable feeling in my gut during every episode - you just don't know what's going to happen. Then imagine how it must be for the actual characters.
    That really is a horrible thing to think about, but also why Ricks instincts so obviously are even more finely tuned.
    And on that note - I'm not certain Lori will survive or at least stay in one piece.
    A lot of the "main" characters have been killed in the comic, so who's to know...?

  3. Wonderful review!

    I actually found it a little tedious, and the plots are all over the place, but it did what had to be done given what happened.

    I completely agree about Carl too, he's just a kid changing as the people around him change. He's sensing their hostility and fear, and doing what he needs to. I imagine his first walker shooting will be a big deal though.

    I'm sad Rene (that's what he is to me, and will always be) didn't last longer than 10 minutes, it could have been the catalyst for getting Hershel to finally accept Rick and co into their group.


  4. Actually Rene from TB gave me more creeps here then his obviously evil sidekick. He said that he got his gun off a cop. That's only a point of pride for bad guys. Also he was a smooth talker, knew what to say to appease Rick, Glenn and Hershel.

  5. This was a great episode, although I wish it were a two-parter to give the impression of more forward momentum. (I haven't seen the next episode yet.)

    But, no matter how much I enjoy this show, I always feel down and sort of emotionally tapped out after watching it. It's just all so very depressing. Does anyone else feel that way?

  6. Stuff typically thought of as depressing actually cheers me up, because I can see how my life is better then it could have been for example during a zombie apocalypse. It's the 100% happy stuff that gets me down by showing me what I don't or can't have or had and the subsequently lost.

  7. Josie: I always feel down and sort of emotionally tapped out after watching it. It's just all so very depressing. Does anyone else feel that way?

    Yes, me. I've found the whole of season two thoroughly depressing. Great drama, and I love it, but it's heavy going. When is anyone going to catch a break? (And I'm not talking about a rib or femur.) It's all people being eaten, pickaxes through heads, and burning corpses. And now Sophia's dead, it all seems even more hopeless.

    I'm totally rooting for Glenn and Maggie because, at the moment, there's just nothing else to root for. If they split up, I'll probably just go lie down in a trench somewhere and wait for the soil to fall over me (kind of like they do with leeks).

    Great review, Doc. You nailed it as always.


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