The Dale Face [Walking Dead Dissection]

Posted by on February 20th, 2012

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After an episode that left my expectations for this episode in the same shape as Lori’s car. I was ready to quit. Done writing recaps. I don’t like crapping on TV that other people like.

Unless it’s Heroes. Because, seriously, f— Heroes.

But with that said, last Sunday’s installment was… good? Yeah, it was good. It was definitely good. In fact, it is only the proximity to the previous week’s poop storm which qualifies my praise.

Like a beaten dog, I can’t help but flinch even when given a treat. I digest this snausage AFTER THE JUMPHooray! Lori’s retarded car wreck didn’t take a million episodes to resolve

It’s not a great sign when you start celebrating every time a show doesn’t make a brain scorchingly stupid decision. But in this case, break out the party poppers.

In the first five minutes we learn:

– Lori isn’t dead

– She has no major injuries and is well enough to leave the car

Halfway through the episode she’s back on the farm and we can put her in place for the real movement on the plot. In grand total, what did we get out of Lori leaving the farm and wrecking the car? Some minor character development in Carl who falls apart without his mom but acts like a Child of the Corn when around her to project toughness. And Shane gets to make a competent leadership decision in brining her back.

Of course, that isn’t how it’s received. Which is fine. More on that later.

The Others are a thing

And so we begin in earnest one the central tenants to this story, that the living are worse than the dead in this post-civilization environment. The Pee On The Floor duo were not alone but rather just scouts for another band of survivors.

Things devolve into a shootout, which gives us one pitch that TWD has never lost. The taught action scene.

Long story short, after Herschel lets a dude get eaten by zombies so they can escape (Otis anyone?) the Three Amigos decide to take one of The Others back to the farm to spare him a brutal death by way of whaling and gnashing of teeth.

I hope they just rip off the Henry Gale story from Lost. With all the roiling tensions in the group, it would be pretty awesome if our injured captive had the mental capacity to play them against each other. At the very lease, make him something more than a Teddy Ruxpin doll repeating “Please don’t kill me!” and “I won’t tell anyone where you are!” a billion times.

The Dale Face

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Seriously, how many times does Dale end a scene making this face? It’s got to be over 400 times. It doesn’t matter what the scene is.

Hey Dale, T-Dog just found a year’s supply of stew!

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Oh no Dale, Carl just creeped himself out so hard he’s now in a coma.

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Dale, this is Andrea, just stand very still while I use my calloused hands to administer a delicate rogering to completion into a hay bale.

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Everyone all together now…

What’s wrong with your face?

A credible fracture in the group

Finally, we get to what we’ve really wanted on this show since the end of the first season. A split in the group. The Dangerous Loners (who also get the majority of the work done) Shane, Daryl and Andrea against Everyone Else.

It even seems like that car wreck knocked a little Interesting in Lori. She gets all Lady Macbeth in Rick’s ear about how Shane is ready and willing to kill anyone to be with Lori and Carl. Rick gets totally PO’d about it because it looks like we are finally about to deal with something where all the main characters have stakes and… hopefully, consequences.

In conclusion

This was an enjoyable hour. I hope more hours are like this one. Except that stupid scene with Glenn and his girlfriend where Glenn is all like “I froze up!” and forgets to say, then I stopped freezing and killed a billion zombies like I was a playing Left 4 Dead. Also, that stupid girl with the case of the Plot Devices… I mean whose in shock. Or something. I think she’s faking it, Buster Bluth style.

Ugh… I almost got through the entire recap without bitching. How do I truly illustrate my deep, complex love as tempered by stifling frustration for which The Walking Dead inspires in me?

The Dale Face.jpg

9 Responses to “The Dale Face [Walking Dead Dissection]”

  1. David Sykes Says:

     Someone must die soon….

  2. Rob Cosenza Says:

    Enjoyed this episode, and always love the write-ups, Justin.
    The only thing that bothered me was Rick’s smirky stare into the camera for the last 30 seconds. It’s the whole “Hey it’s me, Lando, under this mask!” wink and nod to the viewer. Understandably, it was the fade-out sequence but yes, we get it, Lori is trying to get Rick to take care of the Shane equation. That sort of thing always bothered me, maybe it’s just me though.
    I do have to say, though, that Hershel has started to become quite the character in the past two episodes. He’s starting to realize and understand the situation much better, despite being back on the bottle.
    Can’t wait until Sunday.

  3. mick 4recycle Says:

     .. have you read the graphic novel

  4. JustinRYoung Says:

    I read up to issue 78. I have some issues with the pacing and dialogue but enjoy the story. Through the first season, I thought the TV show was doing better with the character than the book did.

  5. JustinRYoung Says:


  6. Glenn Vaags Says:

    I am in the same boat as Justin. I expected this to be just any other episode of season 2. Instead I watched a quality episode that left me wanting to watch next weekend, which so far the only thing that was pushing me to watch was the feeling that at some point the show had to get better, it has to return to the same storytelling that I loved in season 1.

    This episode doesn’t wipe the slate clean, season 2 has for the most part sucked, but this episode is a step in the right direction. 

  7. EbonNebula Says:

     I understand that you are upset about the second season as a whole, But making death threats against Glen Mazzara won’t solve anything.

  8. mxyzptlk Says:

    The Dale Face could become a meme. Should become a meme.

    Too late — already is. But your Dale Face is more representative.

  9. Gabriel 'Lasanha' Fonseca Says:

     Please, let it be Dale!