Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Round Two: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Season 1, Episode 2 “Guts” (B+)

I’m tempted to declare this second episode an enormous letdown from the first, but after all is said and done, it’s actually still a pretty decent hour. I think it has more to do with the episode title – the series premiere of “Rescue Me” boasted the same moniker and wasn’t anywhere near as good as episode two. It’s hard to live up to the awesomeness of a series premiere like the one that aired last week for this show, and this second installment does actually perform commendably. More than anything, this show is establishing itself as bleak, at best, in tone. The segue from Shane and Lori having sex in the woods right into the fantastically eerie opening credits indicates both that this is the most intimate setting two people can find in this new world and that this is what Rick has to look forward to when he finally finds his wife again, which could be as early as next week given the episode’s resolution. Stranding Michael Rooker’s Earle on top of the building, handcuffed to a post, even after T-Dog went back to free him, underlines an even darker outlook. Fortunately, there are people aplently in this zombie-filled world, and the fact that they got ahold of not one but two vehicles after a frightfully claustrophobic and pessimistic episode is a good sign. Rick has already been established and cemented as the lawman of this new generation, declaring that there are no longer races and just people. Also, though I said last week that the show had already been renewed for a second season, apparently that didn’t actually happen until this past Monday. In any case, get used to these people – if they survive, you’ll be seeing them for a while!

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