Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 9: Trigger Finger

"The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 9: Trigger Finger" is by far one of the best episodes of the season.  It had a lot of action, a lot of zombies, and a heck of a lot of character development. Conversations that should've happened several episodes ago finally happen and we got to see the reason why Lori ran off like she did...

Episode 9: Trigger Finger starts out with Lori unconscious in the wrecked car and a walker trying to get in to eat her. It shoves its face through the broken windshield, ripping off flesh around its mouth and chin in an attempt to get at her. (Which was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.)

I have come to the conclusion that Lori was so freaked out by what Dale told her (that Shane killed Otis) that she couldn't sit still because she finally realized just how dangerous Shane is. She was so spooked, in fact, by what Dale told her that it made her run to find her husband. In her panic, she couldn't even focus on driving and managed to wreck her car in the process. That is why she didn't go to Shane to ask him to hurry up and get Rick.

She wasn't worried about Beth's condition, she was just using that as an excuse to run out and find her husband. There were other people there she could've asked to go get Rick and Hershel besides Daryl- she could've gone directly to Shane and asked him to go get them, but she didn't- because she is now afraid of him.

Lori was on the fence about Shane, and Dale's revelation was her last straw when it came to him. He's obsessed with her and it's scares her more than anything else that has happened lately.

Shane lied to her about Rick being dead, then he attempted to force himself on her at the CDC, and then there was the fiasco with the walkers in the barn, after which Dale informs her that Shane killed Otis and gloated to him about it. Dale had no reason to lie to her about Shane, and was telling her because he is concerned about everyone's safety. He realized that Shane has become seriously unhinged, and that he is a threat to anyone that gets in his way.

So, instead of going to Shane to ask him to go pick up Rick and Hershel, she went to Daryl first. He has proven that he can be trusted, but he has had enough of running around and blew her off. That is why she left to get him on her own, telling no one that she left the farm in order to get to Rick and tell him what happened, and warn him of how dangerous Shane has become.

Unfortunately, she is so upset by the revelation that Shane murdered Otis, that it clouded her judgement and she left on her own. This is the first time she has been seen on camera with a gun, and fighting off walkers to saver her own life. She feels so threatened by Shane's presence, that she'd take a gun with her and take her chances.

Thankfully, she isn't so incompetent as to not be able to fight off the walkers that attack her. After she deals with them, by using some serious car-fu (rips out the turn signal and stabs it in the walker's eye, then uses the hubcap to drive back the walker that is crawling towards her) she heads down the road towards the town, thinking of nothing but looking for Rick.

At the farm the group is sitting down for dinner. Shane and Andrea decide to go look for Rick, Hershel and Glenn in the morning if they don't come back by then. Shane tries to keep Carl's spirits up, and then they realize that Lori is missing. Shane goes to look for her and they search the farm property  for Lori.

Back at The Carriage Bar, Glenn and Hershel step up to Rick, staring at the two men that he just killed in order to save all of their lives. Rick asks them if they're all right. Hershel tells then that they should head back and then a truck pulls up and about six of Dave and Tony's friends start calling out for them. (The guys looking for Dave and Tony call walkers "roamers"- interesting that...)

They attempt to enter the bar and Glenn sits in front of the door to prevent them from getting in. Rick tries to speak with them, and tells them that they pulled their guns and he had no choice but to kill them. (Rick is honest to a fault- it is one of his best and worst qualities. He has a hard time lying to anyone. I mean come on, he felt bad when he lied to Carl about Sophia being safe when his son asked about her while his life was hanging in the balance. Bad enough to confess to him that he lied to him about it.)

Rick, as a cop, has been in hostile situations before that he may have been able to talk his way out of, which is why he tries to speak with them first. He isn't the type to shoot first and ask questions later. Unfortunately, when he attempts to speak with them, they open fire. Rick fires back and tells Glenn and Hershel to run to the back of the bar.

Carol runs to Daryl, who is tending a fire and eating by himself at his tent and tells him that they can't find Lori. He tells her that she probably went off on her own- that he came to her and asked him to go get Rick and he refused, telling her that he's done being the errand boy. (Daryl is angry and hurt by all that happened. He almost died looking for Sophia, and he is expressing his grief by being confrontational).

Carol doesn't understand why he didn't say anything to them about it. She then tells him not to push her away. But he is tired of looking after everybody's business and searching for some little lost girl that wasn't his problem. And Lori isn't his problem either.

Carol goes and informs the group of what Daryl told her, and Shane questions why Lori left without saying anything. No one knew, not even Dale- who sees all... Shane then drives off to find Lori.

Meanwhile, Rick is still trying to talk to the men looking for Dave and Tony. Glenn goes to the back door to see if they can get out that way and get to their cars. The doorknob turns and Glenn fires on the man.

Shane finds Lori's wrecked car and the dead walkers. He looks for her while thunder is going off in the distance. But it never rains (one of the quirks of this episode- that and the strange time leap from day to night to day, in what seems to have happened in less than a few hours).

Rick says that he'll hold off the men firing at them, and tells Hershel to go out back and cover Glenn while he runs to their car. He hands a gun to Hershel, and tells him that he's sorry that he missed shooting practice. Hershel takes the gun, checks it for ammo, and tells him he knows how to shoot a gun, he just doesn't like using them. Hershel goes to the back and startles Glenn, and tells him to go get the car, and that he'll cover him. When one of the guys runs over and fires at Glenn, Hershel shoots him in the chest, dropping the man. Glenn falls behind the dumpster in the alley and freezes. Rick comes back and asks him what happened and Hershel tells him that he thinks that Glenn was shot.

Rick checks out Glenn, and he tells him that he's fine. Scared, but fine. So he and Rick attempt to run around to the front of the bar, where they parked the car, and a kid (Randall) on the roof of the building across the street, next to the pharmacy fires on them with his rifle.

A man driving a truck pulls up and yells at the kid on the roof to jump, that the walkers are coming and they're running out of time. Their gunfire drew the walkers, and a huge group of them are heading into the town. He doesn't care about the guys that killed Dave and Tony.

The stupid kid listens to the truck driver and jumps and falls hard, screaming in agony. And, being the jerk that he is, the guy in the truck drives off, leaving the kid to die.

Check out the makeup jobs on the town walkers! Those eye contacts look amazingly gross!

Hershel pauses at the back of the bar and watches in horror as walkers close in on the man he shot (Sean) and devour him, eating him alive, starting with the nose.

Watch bad guy Sean get eaten alive by walkers!

You can tell from the expression on Hershel's face that he's never seen walkers eat people before. Rick has to yell at him to run. Rick then rushes over to help the kid that fell from the roof and we see that his leg was skewered by a spike on a wrought iron fence.

Rick doesn't want to leave the kid to be devoured- it's cruel and wrong- and his "friends" left him for dead. He was the only one from the group that was concerned about the welfare of their friends- he asked about their friend Sean and didn't want to leave him behind. It's easy to see that he wasn't quite like the others, not after they left him to die like that.

Hershel tells them that they can't get him off the fence without doing serious damage to his leg, and that if they did, he'd bleed to death before they could make it back to the farm. Glenn asks if they could cut it off, and the kid freaks out and starts screaming even louder than he already was. Hershel says that they can amputate his leg but they'll have to cauterize it or he'll loose too much blood and die. But they don't have any time. A herd of walkers is coming their way. Hershel tells him that the humane thing to do would be to shoot the kid and get going. But Rick refuses to leave him behind, so he rips the boys leg up off of the spike and they make a run for it.

Now here's the interesting part. 
Hershel is a pacifist (a man of peace that abhors violence) that knows how to shoot a man and drop him- he made a chest shot in one hit, and he knows how to handle a gun, shooting stance and all. In addition, he knows how to perform a field amputation. The fact that he knows that much about human anatomy tells me that he is not a veterinarian, but something else, such as an Army doctor or a war vet. He stopped drinking once his daughter Maggie was born, and became a man of God, and a pacifist- which makes me think that once he became a father he left his former life behind. It is highly possible that Hershel was a medic in the Army and went to war (he is old enough to have gone to Vietnam for instance), and that once his life utterly changed for the better, he discarded his violent past.

Shane picks up Lori. He lies to her, telling her that Rick and the others made it back to the farm. Basically saying whatever he needed to to get her in the car and back to safety. Yes, Shane lies to her, again. He did what he had to to get Lori into his car and back to the safety of the farm. She was injured, and he was concerned about her and the baby. He had no clue that she left to get away from him, just that she was focused on finding Rick.

Carol returns to speak with Daryl and sees the squirrels that he hung up after killing them, and the walker ear necklace that he hung on the same line. He is angry, and blames her for letting Sophia run off in the first place, and she lets him yell at her. She isn't afraid of being hit, and wants him to voice his anger and pain. In some way, she probably feels that she deserves it for letting her daughter die like that.

Here, Daryl voices his insecurities, and failures- blaming Carol while reflecting his own thoughts about himself onto her.

Daryl: "What are you doing here?"
Carol: "Keeping an eye on you. I'm not going to let you pull away. you've earned your place."
Daryl: "If you minded your own business your daughter would still be alive."
Carol: "Go ahead." She lifts her chin in defiance, waiting for him to hit her and he doesn't.
Daryl: "What, you think I'm just like my daddy? You're a real piece of work, you know that lady. Sophia wasn't mine! Why didn't you keep an eye on her?"

Daryl is afraid that he is exactly like his drunken, abusive father that abandoned him when he was a child. He doesn't want to be like him, and he hates that he failed to save Sophia. He sympathized with her plight so much, because he was lost when he was a child, and he wanted to give her the help that he never had. And he couldn't.

Shane brings Lori back to the farm, and she immediately asks where Rick is and learns that Shane lied to her about him returning. Lori gets pretty pissed with him about that, and when Shane confronts her and brings up the fact that he's worried about the baby, Carl pipes in and asks, "You're having a baby?"

Carl didn't know. She didn't tell him.

Dale and Andrea escort Lori into the farm house to clean up and tend to the wounds she received in the car crash. Lori sits with Carl and talks with him about having a kid. Carl asks if its a girl, if they can name it Sophia. (Aww...) He tries to learn about how Lori got pregnant and she balks, so he looks to Dale, who says, "Don't look at me. That's your father's job." Basically, Ask your father about that. - Which I thought was pretty funny.

Shane then asks to speak with Lori alone, to explain himself to her, and Andrea tries to get him to back off, to let Lori rest, but Lori reluctantly agrees to speak with him. (Andrea is resuming her old role as protector and nurturer in the group. It's nice to see her come back to her senses)

Shane tries to make it all about poor little old him, and it appears that Lori has had enough of that. She brings up all the other times he's lied about significant things, such as Rick being dead.

This scene was really great, because Lori confronts him about everything that he's done lately, and lets him know that she knows that he killed Otis. In addition to that, she informs Shane that she told Rick that they had an affair. Shane tries to justify this, and brings up the fact that they thought he was dead, that she was a widow who needed comfort. He realizes that she believes that what they did was a mistake. But he doesn't see it that way. "What we had was real. You, me and Carl. It was real. Don't say it wasn't. Think about what you felt."

He believes that it was the only good thing that they (meaning himself) had after the world fell apart. He is clinging to the past, refusing to let go of his feelings for her. He wants to believe that Lori still has feelings for him, but refuses to be with him because her husband is alive. Initially, Lori may have still cared for Shane as a lover, but those feelings are dead. With the death of Sophia and Otis on Shane's hands, Lori has decided to cut him loose. He's too dangerous, and she's almost lost both her husband and her son. She'll be damned if she'll allow a situation that is somewhat in her control to escalate to the point where their lives are once more in jeopardy.

We then see that Beth is still in shock. Patricia sets up an IV and Andrea pops in to the room and offers to help. In this scene, we really see Andrea starting to come back to her normal, caring self. (The first hint was the look she had on her face when she draped a blanket over Sophia's corpse in the last episode. I think it reminded her of Amy, and made her realize that there are other ways of taking care of things. More respectful ways to put down the walkers than what Shane did.) The death of Sophia was a slap in the face to her, and thankfully, it is making her start to question her own actions, and those of Shane's as well.

Andrea tells Maggie to be strong for her sister. Maggie tells her a story about when she came home from college and Beth found her birth control pills and threw them in the pond, causing a scene, and when her father came out to see what was going on, Beth played it cool and told him that they were just swimming. Andrea tells her that Rick and Glenn will get her dad back, and Maggie agrees- and says that Glenn is a good guy. Andrea agrees.

The next morning, Andrea goes out to fetch her guns and Dale stops her. He is wary of Shane, and wants Andrea to figure out just how dangerous he is. Unfortunately, with the way he treated her at the CDC, by staying with her and forcing her to leave with him instead of committing suicide, and then taking away her father's gun and her means of protecting herself, he made Andrea not want to listen to him.  (She is slowly coming around, and is still trying to forgive him for all of that.) Dale tells her that with Rick and Hershel gone, Shane has everything he wants, and that because of that, he might not go out to bring them back, but kill them in cold blood so that he can keep it.  Andrea is still in denial about Shane being a murderer, but I think that is going to change soon enough.

We see that Daryl, Shane and Andrea are getting ready to go out and find Rick, Glenn and Hershel. (Daryl's participation tells me that even though he's pulled back, he still cares. He's just hurt, both physically and emotionally, by everything that has happened lately.)

Then, Rick and the others drive up in a truck. T-Dog finally gets a line in this episode and says "Who the hell is that?" And Glenn informs the group that the kid in the truck is Randall. The kid's presence causes a commotion, but he was blindfolded on the trip over and they are going to keep him in the barn until he heals. After Hershel tends to the boy's leg (off-screen) they have a group meeting in the farm house. There, Shane throws a fit about them bringing back a survivor from a group that tried to kill them. He firmly believes that his friends will come looking for him, and that it will be a bloodbath. Hershel tells him that they haven't come to terms with what he did at the barn, but that Rick convinced him to let him stay, and that he can just shut up and keep his opinions to himself. (And he does.) Woo! Go Hershel!

Shortly after, Daryl leaves the room, and Carol goes after him.

Maggie and Glenn get a moment alone, and Glenn tells her what happened at the bar. He is upset and angry with himself because he froze when he was shot at. Hershel and Rick were depending on him to help keep everyone alive, and he couldn't. Because, for the first time in his life, he had someone else to think about. He realized that if he died, it would hurt Maggie, and he didn't want to do that. She is please with this, but he isn't, because it made him selfish. She goes to kiss him and he pushes her away in anger because she doesn't understand. He was more worried about himself than the safety of others, and that disturbs him because Rick and Maggie's dad were counting on him to watch their backs. (Glenn's self worth comes from his ability to help the group- by scavenging in the city and towns and watching people's backs.)

Hershel then checks in on Beth. He gave her a sedative, and his checking her pulse. But things don't look too good. Maggie, upset by what Glenn said to her, confronts her father about his drinking. He left and she didn't know what to do.

Andrea and Shane talk about taking watch over the farm and the newcomer (who really couldn't run off in his condition, even if he tried). Shane believes that they are going to have a war on their hands when Randall's friends come looking for him. Andrea tries to talk to him about how he does things, and wishes that he had a lighter touch, but he doesn't  care. He thinks that he is the odd man out, that no one will listen even though he is right, and that he and Andrea should've left the group when they had the chance. Even now, he is still attempting to recruit people over to his side- Andrea is questioning him, and he says all he can to get her to agree with his methods.

In Lori and Rick's tent, they are changing clothes. Lori says that they need to talk about Shane. She tells him that Shane thinks that the baby is his, but no matter what, it will be Ricks (she isn't sure who the father is). Rick thinks that Shane will accept that, but he won't and Lori knows this. She tells him that he lied to get her back to the farm, he threatened to kill Dale, and she thinks that he killed Otis, for Carl and her.

Shane thinks that they're supposed to be together, no matter what. Rick tells her that he shot two men, to protect the group, to protect the ones that he loves. Lori then says in his ear, "You'll kill the living to protect the ones you love? Shane thinks that I'm his and he thinks that you can't protect us and that you're going to get us killed. He is dangerous."

I thought it was really interesting that she'd not-so-subtly ask Rick at the end of the episode if he'd kill to protect his family, and then go on to tell him how dangerous Shane really is. She wants Rick to kill him, before he kills anyone else.

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