Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Walking Dead: Episode 2 (Guts)

Spoiler Warning! This post contains spoilers for episode 2 of The Walking Dead.

Episode Synopsis: Having reached Atlanta, which now belongs to the dead, Rick Grimes is rescued by a group of scavengers. He helps them escape the city and get back to their survivor camp where, unbeknownst to Rick, his wife and son are living.

Discussion: Please welcome my friend Scott, who is joining me for a discussion of the episode.

Q: What were some of the highlights of the episode, in your opinion?

zharth: Obviously, when Rick and Glenn snuck through the throng of zombies, covered in decaying flesh. That was a clever idea; I don't think I've ever seen somebody try that before. And nerve-racking. The rain seemed a little too (in)convenient, though - but I'm not complaining.

Scott: It's not quite a highlight, but I thought it was neat when Rick took out the zombie's wallet and had a brief eulogy for the man before they chopped him up. It went a long way toward building him up as a strong, decent man in a terrible situation. It also shows how "new" he is to the world, since he just woke up; everyone else is numbed and used to the fact that these "geeks" are just zombies, dead bodies walking around. They're obstacles to be put down.

To Rick, though, they're unfortunate corpses that were once people, and this scene shows that very effectively.

zharth: Yes, and I liked it particularly when they mentioned that their unfortunate volunteer was an organ donor.

Q: What do you think of the scavenger group's treatment of Merle - was it justified, or should they have done something differently?

zharth: I think it's unfortunate the way things turned out, but I can't blame anyone for it. Merle was definitely acting irresponsibly to begin with. Though it's a high-tension situation, and you can't expect everyone to remain calm, I can't blame Rick for taking control of the situation by handcuffing Merle. And I really can't blame T-Dog for dropping the key. I think it's clear that that was a mistake, and it says a lot about him that he wanted to go back and help Merle even though Merle assaulted him (and might very well do it again, if freed). I don't think Merle deserved to be left behind, but it wasn't directly anyone's fault - it was an extreme situation, and I don't think the remaining survivors had an obligation to risk their own safety (or that of the entire group) - by botching the escape mission for one downed member.

Scott: Rick's treatment of Merle was absolutely justified. Merle was a loose cannon and couldn't be trusted; that was a situation where everyone would have to work together to survive and Merle just wasn't going to do it. Not only was he constantly insulting and picking fights with another member of the group, but he was wasting ammunition dangerously and directly threatening the well-being of everyone else within range. Rick was right to take Merle out of the equation.

I think it was unfortunate, though, that they left him on the roof rather than taking him downstairs and tying him securely. The instant T-Dog tripped over the tools and dropped the key, though, I knew what was going to happen. I absolutely saw it coming and it horrified me. This is a problem with the show, honestly; horror's become such a popular genre recently that there are a lot of tropes that were once horrifying but are now overdone, and you can see it coming from miles away.

There's a movie called Moon that did a fantastic job of turning a classic sci-fi trope on its head, and I keep hoping to see that happen here, as well.

Conclusion: Thanks for joining me, Scott! Stay tuned for our discussion of episode 3 of The Walking Dead!

No comments:

Post a Comment