Friday, November 4, 2011

NEW!: The Walking Dead 1:5 - Wildfire

Overall Rating:7.5

The main story of this episode - Officer Nutball begins his descent into madness.

Plot Synopsis:

The recaplet can be found at the Wikpedia.

The Skinny:

Shane has now officially lost the rights to his human name and shall, henceforth, be known as Officer Nutball.  He's been pessimistic and a bit selfish from the beginning - we don't know how long he and Lori were having an affair before the zombie apocalypse, but we do know that he has a long history of chickening out and thinking only of himself when it comes down to the crunch - that's a part of the reason Rick is the one who got shot and ended up in a coma.  That little character flaw, under ordinary circumstances might go largely unnoticed (at least until he had a reason to be jealous or full of rage) but under the strain of trying to cope with the walkers, Officer Nutball rears his ugly head.  It only gets worse from here, trust me.  I suppose you could forgive him for taking out his anger with Lori on Ed and beating him 99% of the way dead...but now he seriously considers shooting Rick in cold blood just because they disagree on the best course of action and - oh yes - Rick is back with Lori.  Of course, he covers it well and decides to agree with Rick to protect himself, but...this is not a pretty picture.

The rest of the episode is fairly mundane.  I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the survivors chose to leave Jim for dead rather than shooting him in the head - I would think that given what will happen after he goes, it would be more merciful to end his suffering when it's clear he can't make it to the CDC...that bit seemed a little off to me.  I did, however, appreciate Glenn finally showing some real emotion when Daryl was about to throw Ed's carcas into the fire with the walkers, rather than properly burying him.  Daryl doesn't give a crap either way because he just walks to survive and move on, but there's that humane message rearing its head again.  Right up there with Andrea sitting vigil over her fallen sister's corpse until it came back to life for the express purpose of taking that one moment of apparent consciousness to apologize for her failures and guarantee that she be the one who puts an end to Amy's suffering.

Writing: 7.0

This is just a functional script depicting the critical difference between Rick - who still has hope for a better future and for the souls of his fellow survivors - and Officer Nutball, who has nothing left but the will to survive and the desire to lessen his own personal suffering.  I've nothing bad to say about the script...but nothing really stands out but for a few key vignettes.

Acting: 8.5

John Bernthal is starting to stand out in his fall into madness...I wonder whether he will survive his apparent walker scratch in the second season, because he's got talent.  Lori Holden (Andrea) delivers a good showing as well.

Message: 7.0

The struggle between a desire to be merciful and humane and a desire to stay alive continues...nothing major is added this week...just you wait for the next episode, however.

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