What They Say:
Chupacabra – The group makes a plan that Hershel disagrees with adamantly.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the big appeals of the comic series for a lot of people is that we haven’t seen much of the past. The story kicked off with Rick, both getting shot and then waking up in this new hell and just constantly moving forward. Even when you get down to dealing with the cast of characters as it grows, little is really said about their pasts and who they once were. And there’s truth to that because unless you were someone with key skills, who you once were didn’t really matter. It was just what you can bring to the table now. That said, there’s something to be said for expanding the past a bit as the episode opens with some chilling scenes showing how the trek to Atlanta turned very dark as they saw what happened to the city before they could get there. It does feel out of place considering what the series has done in the first ten episodes prior to this, but it has some room for interesting growth.
The search for Sophia continues to be a major part of the show, though as we’ve seen it has a bit of ebb and flow to it depending on what other subplots it wants to deal with. This episode has some good material involving it early on as the majority of the able bodied adults head into the forest to search for her and that puts some tensions out there as well. With the way Shane has been slowly cracking up, he gets to have a good moment of honesty with Rick about it in how he can’t help but to think that Sophia is dead at this point and Rick’s nature is just going to get them further and further into trouble. The two men are similar in a lot of ways, but their natures have them very much at odds when it comes to survival. But even so, there are some really fun moments where two friends who have known each other for ages get to talk about the past, and the dangers in doing so.
As we’ve seen since early on in the series, Daryl has definitely proved to be one of the more interesting characters to be used, especially being a TV original character. His search for Sophia has been very personal in a way as he’s gone out to search because of how Carol was feeling and the general mood of the group. It’s also not hurt that he’s definitely the best at tracking, but even he can get caught by surprise by things. So when an accident sidelines him in the middle of the search, it’s brutal to see him hit so hard. It’s a struggle as he tries to get back and it takes a great little twist along the way as it messes with us from the promos by using Merle in a way that’s wholly appropriate while still leaving that whole mystery out there. You don’t often see this method used in live action TV shows, but they made it work well here and shifted Daryl into high gear, which is definitely engaging to watch.
While there’s some solidly intense moments throughout the episode, it also fills it with some fun character tension as well. Hershel and Rick are starting to grate against each other more as Hershel really doesn’t want them there and the two groups are getting far too cozy. Especially with Glen getting closer to Maggie and all the complications that comes with it, especially as she’s conflicted about how far she can feel for him as well. The episode also starts to bring in more of Hershel’s family, which has been very much hard to see for the last few episodes in general, so they sort of feel like they come out of the blue. Of course, most of what we’ve seen has been the late at night work done on Carl, so it hasn’t been a big family introduction or anything. So when they have a big dinner for everyone, it’s just quiet and tense.
Sometimes a few lines of dialogue, or even a single sentence, can say so much. There’s a brief scene between Carol and Daryl towards the end here that’s just powerful when you get down to it and could mean a whole lot to Daryl when it really sinks in. Daryl really is the standout character here but it’s done in a way where he’s able to help others rise along with him. Andrea has her continued growth when it comes to her wanting to be a valuable member of the group that’s not washing clothes. Of course, it ends up going in an obvious and predictably disastrous direction, but it definitely worked well. Add in what’s going on with Lori that’s sticking to a very small subplot at the moment and the really, really enjoyable material between Glen and Maggie and I definitely had a great time with this episode. Especially with the last couple of minutes which hits one of my favorite early comic plot points.
Readers Rating: [ratings]