Editorial Note: I've chosen to capsule-review the first two episodes of the second season as, though they were good TV, they didn't stand out beyond a few vignettes that I'll mention in each hour-long piece of this infinity-part story (the episodes don't even pretend to have a truly stand-alone format at this point). We want to catch up to the current new material so you're getting a bonus post today to finish the job and you'll get another bonus post tomorrow to document 2:3, which is a feature, just to let the readers know what's coming) along with your regularly scheduled Grimm 1:2 post.
What Lies Ahead: 8.3
The strength of this episode is the long stretches of "oh shit!" mood-setting. They're on the road, but from the moment Dale's RV pops a hose (again), you just knew something bad was going to happen. And a pack of hundreds of roving walkers qualifies as something bad, that's for sure. As is the adventure of poor Sophia Peltier. There were two running themes that needed comment. One - I get that Andrea is in pain over the death of her sister, but she needs a very large pair of stilts so she can get over herself. Seriously...STFU, Andrea, with this "you took away my right to be a selfish bastard and leave you all alone!" crapola. Life may suck, but you don't have the right to make decisions that will infinitely shrink the hopes and joys of your fellow men. That is all. Secondly, Officer Nutball's decision to leave the group just shows what a coward he really is. We'll see even more cowardly actions two episodes on, but for now, rather than face the consequences of his bad behavior and even worse thoughts, he chooses to run and face death alone. *guinness* Brilliant! */guinness* Rick's struggles are understandable...it seems that no matter what he does, something bad happens...but he's gonna have to get his confidence back with or without good results because the group needs a leader and Lori needs a husband.
One wonders whether the group should consider heading NW toward the central plains and setting up shop in wide open spaces if ranches like Hershel Greene's are still this untouched, rather than heading for a center of activity like a military base. But what do I know? :) The meat of this episode is the incredible effort to which Rick will go to save his son...not just donating blood to the point of near death, but wishing he could be out there gathering supplies and the rest of the survivors - especially his wife. The rest is just back-story and filler in an episode that, while solid, lacks the dramatic fire of some of the previous ones. I did enjoy Daryl's late-night recon patrol - including his discovery of a walker who'd apparently killed himself by hanging (rather dumb, given how the disease works). "Got bit. That's it. The world went to shit. So I might as well quit." I am hoping I see some more survivor's humor (gallows humor, perhaps) like this from Daryl...and some more of his contempt for the quitter's mentality taken by so many of us evidently in the wake of the plague. The real fun begins in the next episode though...so stay tuned.