Monday, October 22, 2012

Forget "The Walking Dead" - Fear Rick! A Television Review ("Sick")

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*spoilers are below.

Director: Bill Gierhart.

Writers: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, and Nichole Beattie.

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Emily Kinney, Melissa McBride, Markice Moore, IronE Singleton and Lew Temple.

Well, there is good news for Dish subscribers. The AMC and the Dish Network have finally come to terms and Dish will again be showing "The Walking Dead" including this episode, "Sick." "Sick" is the second episode in a season that is a lot more exciting than the previous one. Long gone is Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm, thankfully. This season is focusing a lot more on Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) continued loss of humanity. Anyone can be a target for Rick's wrath. Lori is mostly the same from Seas. 2. Her neurosis is jarring. Meanwhile, the prisoners in this showing did not last long. Rick does not like the competition in his prison yard.

This showing focused exclusively on Rick and his group of survivors. Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michone (Danai Gurira) were forgotten and these two secondary characters will make an appearance in Epis. 3, "Walk with Me." The survivor's Ricktatorship seems to be holding together, with Rick continuing to bark orders and act unruly. In this episode, Rick managed to fully let lose his dark side by offing not one but two prisoners. Rick really knows how to cut to the chaff. Meanwhile, Hershel seems to be getting better. Lucky for Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), he still does not desire human meat. The prisoners are sent off to live in Cell Block D, while Rick continues to keep Lori at arms length. All of these interwoven storylines are creating for a number of thrills.

One of the more melancholy characters continues to be Lori. This character is improving this season by showing some commonsense, but Lori still knows how to double-speak. In her first dialogue with Rick in this episode, she states "I know you are not a killer." She wants Rick to use self-control. Right after this line, she states: "do what you got to do." She says this right after Rick admits that he might have to kill the prisoners to protect the survivors. She preaches peace and murder almost in the same breath. This Lorispeak continues to be contradictory and it is no wonder that Rick is no longer as sensitive to her needs and thoughts as he used to be.

Speaking of Rick, this character continues to evolve in a murderous fashion. Rick began to lose self-control in the middle of Season 2. Do you remember the young kid from the other survivor group? Rick captures a young man on an excursion for supplies and he debates whether to kill this character or not. In this season, there is no more debating. If you cross Rick, then you are likely to die. Rick unhesitatingly kills Tomas (Nick Gomez), one of the prisoners, when Tomas throws a walker Rick's way. This attack was provoked but still unexpected. And, by the end of this episode, Rick has killed two prisoners. Rick's humanity seems to be long gone as the zombie apocalypse requires a bloodthirsty approach to life and survival in general.

The five new characters in this episode did not fare well. Rick had murdered two prisoners leading into the third act and Tiny was killed by Tomas, for having a zombie bite. The two remaining prisoners, Oscar (Vincent M. Ward) and Axel (Lew Temple), have to settle for Cell Block D. Rick wants them far away from his family and the other survivors. Cell Block D is littered with corpses and these two remaining prisoners will have to prove they are trustworthy. Or, they will likely also find the wrong end of a blade at Rick's hand.

Overall, this second episode in Seas. 3 was compelling. The action continues to move the show along at a brisk pace. The gore is ever present and the characters are developing in a believable way. Although the characters are a little jaded, they know survival requires both teamwork and bloodshed.

Epis. 3, "Walk with Me" will focus on Michone and Andrea. This is an important episode because the Govenor (David Morrissey) will be introduced and this latest character might be too much for Rick to handle. As well, the spy at the end of this episode will hopefully be revealed shortly. It would be good to see Merle (Michael Rooker) return, bloody stump in tow.

Overall: 7.75 out of 10 (good writing, great pacing, some unpredictable twists and turns, a lot of action and excitement).

*did anyone else notice that the prisoners in Cell Block D were handcuffed and shot execution style? Take a close look. Apparently, these prisoners were quarantined when they were infected. When they turned, they were shot.

More "The Walking Dead" details are available at the AMC:

Epis. 2 - Sick at the AMC

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