Monday, 31 October 2011

The Walking Dead: Save The Last One (spoilers)



The Walking Dead found its mojo last week with Bloodletting therefore anticipation was ridiculously high that the show could keep the momentum going for Save The Last One

PLOT:  This week’s episode starts off with a flash-forward of Shane (Jon Bernthal) shaving his head.  We then cut to Shane and Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince) running through the school with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) reminiscing through the medium of voice over about Shane’s hell raising days at school. 
Back in the permanently stationary RV Daryl (Norman Reedus) cannot handle Carol’s (Melissa McBride) crying and heads off for a midnight stroll with Andrea (Laurie Holden) in order to pick up the search for the permanently missing Sophia (Madison Lintz).  There they stumble upon a hanging walker and Daryl begrudgingly wastes an arrow putting the miserable bastard (and by that I do not mean Andrea) out of his misery.
The most solemn duo in tv Glenn (Steven Yeun) and T-Dog (Irone Singleton) arrive at Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) farm where T-Dog is again reminded that Daryl saved his life.  T-Dog must be reminded of this fact at least once per episode.
Rick, weak with blood loss, is now reminiscing about how he was looking at Carl who was looking at the deer who is looking right back at Carl. 
Shane arrives back at the farm with the equipment for Carl's surgery and emotionally tells us how Otis got killed whilst providing fire cover for Shane. 
In a flashback we are shown that Shane shot Otis in the leg and then beat the shit out him.  Otis  retaliated by pulling Shane’s hair before being gruesomely eaten alive.  The episode ends with Psycho Shane staring at himself in the mirror.  END PLOT

As predicted the scenes which took place in the school were very action heavy and there were some very good Walker scares such as the Walker who appeared at the window as Shane was making his descent.  

The events which took place at the school are extremely important for the development of Shane.  On the face of it Shane sacrificed Otis as they were both trapped in the school and it was the only way he could ensure that Hershel received the necessary supplies to save Carl.

I can buy into that – I think Shane would have done exactly the same thing regardless of who was with him in order to save Carl.  The problem is he done it in such a bastardly way by shooting Otis in the leg, fighting with him in order to get his backpack and then proceeding to beat the shit out of him whilst Otis begged for his life.  This is all before we mention the fact that he lied to Rick about what had actually happened. Shane made no attempt whatsoever to make it quick and painless for Otis although we can argue about heat of the moment until the end of time.

If Shane remained vague about his actions then I would have given him the benefit of the doubt but he had the foresight to make up and tell a lie even though he knew he would never get caught out.  You can’t fault Jon Bernthal’s ability to stare in a crazy manner but the fact that he is now playing PSycho Shane rather than Sympathetic Shane means that he lost the sympathy gained last episode. It is going to be a fun to see what Shane does next.  

This episode completely justifies keeping Shane alive longer than his comic counterpart and I think it was a great call on the writers part to do this despite the inevitable fan-boy backlash.

Hershel is becoming an important character and in this episode we saw that he is able to see the bigger picture as he went out of his way to make sure that Patricia was not told about her husband’s death until after she helped Hershel to operate on Carl.

Carl got a few lines this week before having a seizure in another uncomfortable moment of child peril.  As stressful as it is to watch it is also bloody engrossing.

Lori and Rick had some nice moments together in deciding on whether or not they should let Carl die.  I am relieved that Lori became a lot more rational this episode and I was able to feel for her in every scene.  Sarah Wayne Callies and Andrew Lincoln are absolutely fantastic together.  Their acting was fine in season one but the strength of their performances so far in season two have blown me away.    

Andrea and Daryl had a nice little evening of bonding as the hunt for Sophia continues.  They make quite a good team and although I previously had a notion that they would have an affair I would like to see them become a team.  I am siding with those who want to save Daryl for Michonne.

The fact that the hunt for Sophia is going into it’s forth episode and the realisation that Daryl hasn’t stopped looking up for her since the moment she disappeared is making me think that this it laying the grounds for something bigger involving Daryl.  It may appear like filler compared to the main drama in the episode which is taking place around the farm but I think there is more going on with the hunt for Sophia than meets the eye. I hope there is a decent pay off coming. *cough* Merle *cough*

Speaking of filler it is perhaps unfortunate the anticipated Glenn and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) scenes this week are nothing more than filler.  Their bonding moment did not create the same levels of interest at Daryl and Andrea.

We are now three episodes into season two and it is clear that the pacing of The Walking Dead is going to be very slow.  This isn’t a complaint as having episodes take place during a period of half an evening can work provided the writing and acting are strong enough to justify the lack of progression. 

This episode of The Walking Dead worked on every level although there was a flat spot during the Glenn and Maggie scenes.  If they had left their bonding until next week it would have been a better use of their screen time as it broke up the flow of the drama in this episode.

I gave Bloodletting a 9/10 and hailed it as my favourite episode to date. Save The Last One kept the momentum going and raised the bar again as the tension, acting and the action were second to none.  Save The Last One also gets a 9/10.  This season appears to be a lot more consistent in all the right ways compared to season one and I see no reason why it wont continue to impress.

Performance of the week:  Sarah Wayne Callies
(two weeks in a row for Callies)
Annoying character of the week:  Glenn
Zombie kill of the week: Shane
(showing he too can pull of impressive head shots)  
Daryl line of the week:  Look at him. Hanging up there like a big piñata
Daryl picture of the week:
A slightly blurry picture this week but I think my blog has been written before the tumblr pictures have surfaced but thank you to the lovely lady who found it for me :-)

4 comments:

  1. My favorite episode of the season, think you really nailed it in your write up!

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  2. Daniel: thank you! so glad the show is keeping up the momentum! You really should check out the comics. They are such a good read although the book definitely peaked during the prison arc and hasn't been able to equal it.

    D: Thanks for reading as always!!

    K :-D

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