The Crawling Plot [The Walking Dead Dissection]

Posted by on November 2nd, 2011

So this is how the short, explosive reign of Frank Darabont over The Walking Dead ends. The final script he had a hand in (he’d long since been removed from the post process) gives us some all time great visuals, memorable genre beats and meaningful character turn. But, it also left our main plot in neutral and saw fit to see some of our alleged main characters have the same arguments over and over and over and over again.

What was good? What was boring? What will change? It’s all coming up, AFTER THE JUMP…


As the rest of the show idles in the parking lot, our only character with any kind of momentum is the one that fans of the funnybooks won’t hesitate to remind you should be dead. When we last left Shane he was trapped in a high school, having located the medical equipment needed to save Carl. He and his ample bodied companion Otis launch into the best action sequence this season, bobbing and weaving through corridors, devising last ditch plans to make it out alive.

Last week I ruminated that Shane’s volunteering for the rescue mission might be a form of penance. However, the resolution seems to indicate that Shane has found a new strength. The ability, at least in his mind, to make the hard choices.

skitched-20111102-020719.jpgHis first big hard choice goes into Otis’ knee cap when it becomes clear to him that they don’t have enough ammunition to shoot off an oncoming hoard and both live. Shane leaves a big meaty distraction for the flesh rippers and successfully completes the mission whilst concealing Otis’ cause of death.

As Shane shaves his head (the image that opens and closes the episode) we see the eyes of a man whose become one with his survival instinct. Right now, that is aligned with his sense of leadership for his fellow survivors. But who knows for how long.

Hang ‘Em High

My favorite genre moment of the first season came when Andrea tearfully waited for her bitten sister to “turn” before killing her again. The image of a zombie birth, in a natural if not beautiful fashion was something I’d never seen before.

We get another one of those (if not as personal) in “Last One” when Daryl and Andrea stumble upon a man who hung himself while camping only to get his legs chewed off by zombies and turn into one himself. It’s a really cool idea and makes me happy that someone is thinking of it.


And other than those two things… there isn’t much nice I can say about this episode.

Andrea and Dale are STILL bickering about her death wish? The little girl is STILL missing? Daryl is STILL the misunderstood survivalist whose very likable the more you talk to him?

It’s not that these are inherently boring to begin with, it’s just that we’ve been over all of them before. To be honest, I am starting to wonder about the general direction of this season’s plot. Specifically, I wonder if they have one.

How Many Episodes Do We Have Left Of Frank Darabont?

None. We are fresh out. From this point on we heap credit or blame on new show runner Glen Mazzara

Where Are We Now?

Carl is stabilized. Otis is no longer with us. Shane is a murderer of men.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Cherokee Rose

It looks like we are finally going to catch some air. Although, if we don’t get a new development in this Sophia story soon I hang myself like that dude in the woods.

For all my negativity about “Save The Last One” I am very encouraged by the preview clip for “Rose”. Shane is a top ten character on television right now. I just wish some of the rest of the cast would follow him.

6 Responses to “The Crawling Plot [The Walking Dead Dissection]”

  1. Zak Grim Says:

    I agree that the pacing has been slower than many expected, but remember the book always prided itself that the zombies were secondary to our survivors. In the book it takes 1 panel/page to convey the same emotion that you may need 5 minutes for in ‘tv time’. 

    All that being said, I’m worried that people are going to start giving up on the show. I would love for them to do fan service and give the show the same feel as the book, but you can’t do that and have a successful show. I equate TWD pacing with shows like The Wire and (surprise, surprise) Mad Men. These are shows that get great critical acclaim but didn’t/don’t get great ratings because (IMO) of their slow pacing. I’m right there with you worrying, but i’ll stay with this show…because i’m loving the slow burn so far…

  2. Crash Kinkaide Says:

    My roommate is absolutely convinced that Sophia is safe, and with Merle Dixon.

  3. Michael Kolodoski Says:

    The pacing of the show has been awful. I understand its supposed to be a slow burn, but almost nothing has happened in 4 episodes (the opener is really 2 episodes) to move the story along. If TWD turns into a post-apocalyptic soap opera, I’m out.

    Despite the pacing, there is one glaring fault I have with this season: Rick didn’t come unhinged when Carl was shot. In the comic, Rick becomes enraged and primal for the first time, foreshadowing of his mental state further down the line. That key moment of character development was absent the show. Maybe Rick won’t go down that route, but that would be a fundamental change in a character’s personality from the adaptation.

    I’m quite pleased with the show not following the comics word-for-word so I don’t know what is going to happen, but they’ve stuck to the general plot – despite some differences in characters and minor plot points. If this is where the show departs wildly from the comics, it needs to do so with expedience so people like me stop comparing the two and being disappointed.

  4. Mattias Carlsson Says:

    I hope they find Sofia or just give up searching, this show has to get some speed going soon. I will personally endure but i fear they will lose ratings fast if they keep up this soap opera like pace.

    Really like the more gritty things like the man who had shot him self in his tent and in this episode the man who hung him self. Was a little disappointed that they just left the arrow and accepted the loss of important ammo though.

    Haven’t read the comic, might pick it up later on. Right now i don’t want to spoil future episodes and/or have to deal with storyline differences.

  5. Mattias Carlsson Says:

    They might be alive but not together, that would need a long and weird explanation.

  6. EbonNebula Says:

    I just watched the tonight’s episode, along with the teaser for next week. I think somebody may quite possibly earned an internet high five.