Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode Four: Cherokee Rose

I'm reviewing one episode at a time this year, grimly slogging through each one, each week. You can read my reviews of the season so far here, if you want.

"Cherokee Rose"

Well, that was a whole lot of not much, wasn't it?

Now, the first thing you may notice is that it is not Sunday and yet, I'm putting up my review of last week's episode. Why a day early, you ask? No reason really. They did the crime and I got the time, I guess. Plus, this episode was really boring and went nowhere, so let's just get this done, shall we?

Wait... Who's Sophia again?

Ok, so this episode finds our stalwart band of snoozers doing much the same thing as they have been for the last few episodes... nothing. The others have finally given up on looking for Sophia while camping on the highway. They leave her a sign, but since she has been lost for the better part of the week in two or three square miles of forest RIGHT NEXT TO A FREEWAY, she's probably too dumb to read, so whatever. Meanwhile, Lori and Rick chat with Carl, when he occasionally wakes up and says something touching, and when he's asleep, Rick agonizes dramatically--jaw firmly set--while Lori makes cry-face. Christ, what terrible parents, right? They only have two kids with them and one is now missing and the other is shot.

Anyway, Shane is feeling generally guilty for murdering Otis, probably because he is forced to wear Otis's old clothes while his are washed. This fact, coupled with his newly shaved head and gigantic ears, makes him look like Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men.

"Rabbits, you say? Tell me more..."

Daryl, meanwhile is off lone-wolfing it for the missing girl... still. He finds an empty house and some evidence that someone may have been hiding out in there and also... wait for it... a Cherokee rose.

A Cherokee Rose? But that's the title of the episode! How clever!

Anyway, he then gives it to Sophia's mom as a kind of moral booster and tells her the story of the flower's relevance to the Trail of Tears, which to be honest, was a nice little moment, but two tears in a bucket, know what I'm saying? The really stupid part of this whole sub-plot--at least to me--is: His crossbow only has one bolt. That's not a very good weapon at this point, right? Sigh...

"I'm a'gonna kill me one zombie... and then die..."

Ok, so everyone has now moved to Hershel's farm and they're all camping out in the unprotected yard, because Hershel doesn't like strangers that he's known for days and invited to stay with him... so he wants them to move on when Carl is better. Rick asks if they can stay, and maybe even move into the barn and Hershel quickly changes the subject (FORESHADOWING!!!!) and then changes his mind and let's them stay... for now. Which then leads to the dumbest cool moment yet on a show that seems to specialize in really dumb cool moments.

What's the other end tied to? A Buick?

How many wells are there on Hershel's farm?

There are five.

Five, you say?

Yes, five, they clearly say five.

That's a lot.

That's right, it is. There's one for the house and four for fuck-if-I-know.

Wow, which one is closest to the cluster of tents the characters have set up in a random corner of the lawn and could easily move to a different spot?

That would be the one with the soggy and bloated zombie at the bottom.

Oh yeah? I guess they better drag it out of there, then... but wait, how are they gonna do that?

"Guys? Guys? This might've been a REALLY stupid idea!"

They have this whole stupid discussion about how they need to get the thing out of there BEFORE it contaminates the water, as if the very idea that a dead, rotting and bloated piece of possibly highly contagious meat isn't enough to forever befoul a well in the first place. And the crazy part is they just said there were five wells and yet no one suggests just walking over to a different one. It's insane and illustrates exactly what is wrong with this show.

1. There are easily viable and readily apparent and completely safe alternatives available.
2. It's completely unnecessary and no rational person, even in this insane situation would choose this course of action.
3. It's fake drama. It's contrived. Like a jump scare in a slasher movie, you're only tense because of the rising music, not because there's any actual drama at play.
4. But hey, at least the effects are awesome.

"You know that hat is too small for you, right?"

So then, after being well-zombie bait, Glenn has to make a run into town for supplies with nubile farmer's daughter, Maggie (who decides to wear a really stupid looking comboy hat special for the trip). Now, according to the other characters, Glen was chosen to make the supply run because of his ability to get "in and out" of places...

"So that's what they look like..."

Ah, yeah... a little side-boob and some implied consensual sensual in the abandoned remnants of a post-apocalyptic Hardware store. How romantic! So, Glenn's frown is turned upside down and the sun sets on another go nowhere episode of the Walking Dead. We finish off with Lori sneaking out in the middle of the night, going out into a field, seemingly without any concern for zombies, instead of just using the goddamn bathroom... in order to take a pregnancy piss test, where--shock of shocks--we learn she's pregnant and that we, the viewers, now must endure the storyline where we pretend like it matters, and that we care, who the father is.


And speaking of story lines no one with a brain wanted to see re-visited, Merle (played by the excellent Michael Rooker) was glimpsed in the preview for the next episode.

Remember him? He was a real handy guy... See what I did there?

So, is it a flashback? Will next week's episode focus on the group's pet redneck, better brother of, and official initial stand-in for Merle, Daryl? Or is Merle and his ridiculously over-the-top, more than tedious and stupidly stereotypical brand of racism back to plague the group with nonsense we'd all rather not see?


Tune in Sunday to find out, kids.

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