Overall Rating: 5.5
No consequences from last week's brutality in motion? None at all?
The nasty details may be found at the all-knowing wikipedia (here).
Less than two weeks ago, the entire band of survivors we follow through this post-apocalyptic nightmare of a landscape were at the gates of the CDC screaming that whoever was inside was killing them by keeping the doors locked. Not two weeks before that, Rick was in a tank surrounded by hundreds of walkers when a good man risked his entire group to lead him to safety. In fact, barely a week ago, that same man was welcomed into the home of a Christian doctor who nursed his wounded son back to life at great cost to his resources. That same man was welcomed into the group with open arms, as were each and every member of the group when they gathered together for mutual protection at the start of this crisis The circumstances have been increasingly dire for the group psychologically as time has passed - there's no doubt about that. They lost Sophia - who, for a few long days, for a symbol of hope to their leadership. They lost Hershel's - that Christian doctor I just mentioned - groundskeeper, his wife, and one of his daughters. And they've come face to face with other survivors who were so frayed by the atrocities they've had to commit to survive that they posed a serious risk. And beyond that, their hopes for a cure, a safe haven, or an end to the brutality of this new world have gradually been stripped away.
Having said all of that, I refuse to believe that humans faced with the catastrophic end to civilization would have their humanity stripped clear off in less than a month - that good people like Glen, Daryl and Rick would come to see love as a crippling weakness and hope as an illusion with one or two tragic deaths. And I refuse to believe that we are better equipped to survive on our own than we are cooperating and showing mercy to our fellow men. And above all else, I refuse to believe that good people could watch what Rick did in last week's episode (or be told about it after the fact) and shrug it off, only to worry about personal problems to the exclusion of all else (Lori worrying about the threat Shane poses to her safety, Glen worrying about freezing up when people are counting on him because he cares about someone now). Our own experiences with brutal worlds like this one - for example, the beaches of Normandy or the grisly aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb - suggest that we do a heck of a lot better policing ourselves and banding together than the writers of this show seem to be admitting and demonstrate that those of us who have personal connections to fight for live longer and behave more morally than those of us who go it alone.
The episode had some very well-done moments...some excellent suspense, and some good character work, but I can't let it pass that Rick is getting a pass on cold-blooded murder from his wife and his whole tribe - including relatively non-violent types like Glen who would otherwise have been portrayed as having an almost compulsive need to do the right thing. They can do better than this...I hope they do.
This one is a pretty standard horror script from the word go - there are some gut-wrenchingly nasty moments shown in full glory on screen, but that's about the height of my emotional attachment to this week's plot.
The acting continues to be very solid, however.
Humanity is more resilient than this episode depicts...I hope we see more reasons for hope in future installments or the constant drumbeat of fatalism and negativity will sink this show in a surprising hurry.