Exercise The Demons [The Walking Dead Dissection]

Posted by on November 28th, 2011


This is the show I fell in love with. These are the conflicts caused by the world rotting from the inside out. These are the decisions made by compelling characters with conflicting points of view. This is the genre violence that sets The Walking Dead apart from anything else on television.

If for one moment before a horrific mid-season break, The Walking Dead cashed in on the promise of the first season.

It’s good to be home. Read all about it AFTER THE JUMP…– Victims

“He’s not a victim.”

– Andrea to Dale about Shane

He sure isn’t and thanks to him, we aren’t either. Victims of an excruciating Sophia side plot. MUCH more on that later.

This episode stands as my final piece of blockbuster evidence that deviating from the source material of the comic, specifically with Shane, is the correct creative decision. Is there anyone that disagrees? Ask your friends. Seriously. Because if there are, kick punch them right in the belly. Then spit on their twitching bodies. Then tell them they aren’t allowed to watch television anymore. Then steal their television and throw it into a ravine.

We see more and more that Shane, not Rick is our primary story engine. He makes the hard decisions that continue to move the plot forward. He terrorizes Dale to get the guns, he confronts Laurie about the origin of her gestating baby and most importantly he (if a biiiiit over dramatically) brings the Barn Walker situation to a head which leads to our glorious finale.

Jon Bernthal really put his stamp on the series in this episode. His scenes with Dale radiate murderous violence. Love it.

– Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

skitched-20111128-122713.jpgI have never been more excited to watch a girl get shot in the head than I was tonight.

I just spent 30 minutes looking for a video clip or .gif that depicts the moment over and over and over again.

In fact, I have decided to pen a flowery description of the moment to memorialize our emancipation from this horrific plot:

The barn doors titled out creating a shadow crevice. Yet from the pitch black abyss, one more lost soul calls to the living. Not like the others, it’s timbre is delicate. The difference between a scooter engine and a truck.

Stumbling into the daylight. She emerged. Sophia.

Like a tropical sun shower, the hail of bullets previously pelting the undead family which called the barn home stopped. The sweet girl lost in the woods, under their nose all along. Sweat mingled amongst the brows of the firearm’d survivors as adrenaline caved under the weight of pity, shock and regret.

Except for Rick.

“Not anymore!” he said to himself silently beginning his stride toward the affected youngling.

“You don’t get to waste any more of our time this season!” he screamed inside his skull as he pulled his gun.

“We could have handled this plot line in a million different ways! All of them would have been more interesting than a nonsensical never ending search,” his internal monologue continued as he lifted his revolver’s sights to match the eye line of young Sophia.

“But what we couldn’t do,” his finger squeezed the trigger as the author of this piece raised his hands above his head in joy. “is end it any better.”

One final note, there seems to be a meme amongst fans that the previous six episodes were masterful suspense builders all leading to this grand finale. They weren’t. They were still boring. All the information and tension that made this moment amazing could have been delivered quicker OR we could have done more in these episodes to not make them frustrating and poorly written.

– ‘Splaining To Do

Robert Kirkman confirmed on The Talking Dead that Otis found a zombified Sophia and thanks to his quick demise never got a chance to hear our main characters talk about the little lost blonde girl they were on the lookout for.

But as we see in the preview for our next episode, Hershel is going to have to face the wrath of Shane for harboring the object of their search. Also, by the look of things, the survivors hang around the farm for at least the next episode. Here’s hoping they hit the road soon after that.

– Where Are We Now

Herschel is pissed our survivors went all Peckinpah on his zombified relatives. Shane is a leader with a proven track record of results. It might be time to move.

Also… NO MORE hunting for Sophia! HAHAHAH Rot in hell, you little snot!

– Previews

Season 2, Episode 8: Nebraska

No more columns until February. Until next time!

7 Responses to “Exercise The Demons [The Walking Dead Dissection]”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It didn’t even occur to me that somebody found her and put her in there… I figured she went in the barn looking for shelter the same way Glen entered & got attacked.

    The former definitely makes a LOT more sense.

  2. Flscarnage Says:

    I think you missed something. Rick was the one that shot Sohpia, not Shane. This was to show that even though Shane talks a big game and about making the hard decisions he couldn’t shoot Sophia. The episode also gave me the feeling that Shane isn’t going to make it to season 3. I think that things between Shane and Rick will reach a boiling point and lead to a confrontation. Shane will try to kill Rick and Carl will shoot Shane, just like in the comic. Either that or the group will kick Shane out because he has beef with everyone except Andrea.

  3. JustinRYoung Says:

    I said Rick shot her. But I agree that this was Rick atoning for his wishywashy nature. 

    Unfortunately, I also agree that Shane might not be long for this world. I pray he is.

  4. AMDuser Says:

    I just manage to watch E07, It is best Rick overall that shot Sohpia, Shane is crazy and to triggerhappy in a type over time were you have to be very cautious about Firing Guns, the redneck has the perfect weapon for quiet.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t know. I didn’t like it. Maybe it was because i watched it a day later and had heard what was in the barn so it just seemed obvious to me. 
    What I really hated was the scene with Dale and Shane. First off, I didn’t understand why Dale was trying to get rid of the guns in the first place. It seems like a really dumb thing to do. 
    And the stand-off thing was such a dumb cliche. I want a show that has the guts to have Dale shoot him. Of course I also want a show that has the guts to have Shane get shot by a child.  
    If the show improves in the second half I think that these episodes will be looked back at like Galactica’s Black Market episode: totally skipable and most people will try to pretend it never happened.

  6. Flscarnage Says:

    When I said you missed something I mean that you missed the symbolic meaning of Rick being the one to pull the trigger. I realize that my original comment wasn’t that clear.

  7. mxyzptlk Says:

    Here’s yer animated gif.


    The thing that stood out for me, and it seems a lot of others, is not the reveal that Sophia was a walker (I was hoping for that a while back). Rather, it’s the whip-around of Shane not handling business when Sophia gamboled out the door, and Rick finally finally acting more like Shane that is, like Rick when he’s Rick, which is more like Shane when Shane stopped being Shane and became Rick for a while. (You know what I mean.)

    I’m wondering if  the next episode, being called Nebraska, will feature Shane and Andrea going all Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek out in the woods on their own. I know that’s Badlands, but Springsteen based Nebraska on the same Charles Starkweather story.)