Wikipedia has a nice round-up here.
You know it's a great episode when Officer Loony is...right...and you hate him for it...oh my this one hurts. This is extremely painful for five separate and equally important reasons:
- Shitbrick is right. He goes about it the wrong way, but you can't go imagining that the walkers are alive...it's a cruel world now and survivor's guilt and denial will get you killed. Wasting food and resources and time and energy on trapping them and treating them humanely is not only philosophically grotesque but completely untenable. We don't have enough resources and our lives are already in enough peril. The walkers needed to be put down. Period. Of course, giving the old man no time at all to come to terms with what must be done will end up in their eviction from one of the few relatively safe harbors around and his particularly heartless rampage will have rendered many of the survivors in his party traumatized and dehumanized and made every future walker encounter that much harder.
- I fear gravely for Rick. This season 2.1 sequence has been all about his desperate need to believe that something good will come of his suffering and that there's a good future somewhere in this world for him and his family. He's latched onto one hopeful errand after another - his son's education and positive outlook, his wife's support, his belief in a safer haven, his hopes to cure Jim at the CDC, and lately...the quest to find Sophia. And that whole time...she was in the barn...a walker. And on some level, he believes it to be his fault. Grimly, he steps forward to end her suffering and shoots her down, nicely bookending the almost heroic feeling moment in the pilot when he guns down a walker child. But this time, the audience is CRUSHED - this girl we knew and still saw as human even after her unfortunate affliction. And if we're crushed...imagine Rick. This is just awful to contemplate.
- Andrea lost someone close and her reaction was to latch onto the man who was "not a victim"...even if there wasn't a drop of humanity left in him. What will happen to the battered and now grieving Carol? What of Daryl, who so fervently believed Sophia was alive? Will they go the way of the soulless wonder? Or will they hang onto their humanity and in so doing die free of conscience and connected to God...or live in a hopeful future somewhere unspoiled by our mass extinction?
- Maggie was already a little unhinged by the stress of her situation, and poor Glen is already losing his innocence day by day...and it's only going to get worse from here. When Glen is forced to leave this place and abandon Maggie...what will become of them? What of Hershel? I very much doubt he's going to come out of this with his sanity intact.
- And then there's Dale - perhaps the wisest and most stable influence in the group. And no one is on his side anymore. Not Andrea, not Rick, not Glen...no one. All because he tried to do the right thing in the right way and made an enemy of Sgt. Shameless and company. I just don't see much reason to hope that he holds sway in camp after that display. UGH...
I still feel that this story is about the right conflicts and told in a way that makes me believe that the right characters are being extolled. The fans have a wide range of reactions, and that's to be expected, but I believe it's clear from the way this was presented that the Care-free Cop (whose name shall continue not to be repeated here...for it is in the bitter tongue of Mordor and is cursed) might as well be dead, because there's nothing left to redeem him. He's not a hero even if his decisions lead to positive outcomes while Rick's always seem to end badly. As long as that stays true...this show will remain my latest obsession.
I believe my opening words sum it up nicely. Just damned good drama...my heart was literally racing uncontrollably when Super-Monkey went off over the arrival of Rick and Hershel (and walker guests)...his whole performance was just terrifying to watch. Man oh man.
MAJOR kudos to all involved...it was picture perfect the whole cast over.
My above commentary says it all...the dark one shall not triumph even if he survives and finds shelter on an island or mountain peak. For he has already been lost to the walkers, though he still breathes.