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'The Walking Dead' Season 2, Episode 5 Recap (VIDEO)

by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 13th 2011 10:05PM
the walking dead season 2 episode 5'The Walking Dead' does itself such a disservice with the flashback scenes. Honestly, they are so interesting! While we've spent, now, five full episodes searching for a character that no one cares about, a flashback shows the streets of Atlanta being napalmed. Now that's a television show. The bad news: We were soon back in the present and graced by the presence of Lori fretting about her pregnancy.

The good news: To this point, this was the best episode of the season.

Do you know what was great about this episode? (Other than the fact it didn't include ridiculous subplots involving bloated zombies trapped in a well?) It's because this episode was all about Daryl.

Daryl is easily the most interesting character on this show. And credit goes to Norman Reedus for making strides to evolve Daryl into a real human being when Daryl could have easily just been played as a prototypical racist redneck. Speaking of prototypical racist rednecks, Merle is back.

Well, sort of. Merle appears to Daryl in a mushroom enhanced hallucination (from this point on referred to as "MushMerle") which just might be the most racist hallucination that's ever been conceived. Remember in 'Top Secret' when Val Kilmer's character, Nick, dreams that he somehow missed a semester of school (no joke, years after graduating, I still have this dream at least once a month), only to wake up and discover that he's being tortured by East Germans? And he's so relieved that he's not in high school he says, "Thank God"? That's how I would have felt if I woke to discover a zombie chewing on my shoe instead of MushMerle calling me a "pussy" and dropping racist slurs.

I have mixed feelings about Daryl's misidentification as a walker by the rest of the group. On one hand, shouldn't there have been slightly more care taken, given the fact that not all members of the group were accounted for? And the fact that this particular group seems to be quite prone to accidents and injuries? On the other hand, Reedus couldn't have more embellished his "walker walk." I mean, I get it, Daryl has been through a lot! He fell down a hill... twice! But that scene brought back memories of Jerry Seinfeld's foot falling asleep, earning him the wrath of Leaping Larry. I suppose that's better than being shot in the head. (I really would like to see a study on the number of people in real life who have been shot at, only to be "grazed," versus the amount of times that happens in real life.) Regardless, I'm happy Daryl seems to be fine (though the rest of the group did seem to lose their concern for poor Daryl once they all saw that stupid doll). It remains to be seen if Daryl take MushMerle's advice to ditch the rest of the group. So far, Daryl seems to be ignoring that advice. He didn't even seem to take getting shot in the head too personally. He even made a joke! I love Daryl.

This episode marks the first time this season that the end of the episode cliffhanger has left me really wanting to know what happens next. Put it this way: AMC sends out screener DVDs every two weeks with two episodes on each screener. So I have a DVD with the next episode on it sitting right next to me on my desk as I type this. It's taunting me! Because it knows that I really want to watch it! But I can't until this recap is over, because that would ruin the fun. I'd either have to pretend that I don't know why those walkers are all being stored in the barn that Glenn accidentally stumbled upon, or I'd have to admit that I know, which then takes away the fun of speculation. (Of course, if you read the graphic novel, I assume that you already know.)

As an aside, Glenn's written pickup line just may be the least smooth written pickup line in history: "Ever have it in a hay loft?" Something tells me that Maggie has had it in a hay loft. For no other reason than that there aren't many other options in her neck of the woods, literally. Which is why it seems a wee bit dangerous of her to let Glenn pick the location of the rendezvous because, really, what else was he going to pick? It sure wasn't going to be, "back at the general store?" or "in your father's bedroom?" (Speaking of Maggie's father, Hershel: he turns out to be a racist old coot. Maybe he's friends with Merle.)

I can't even fathom why there are walkers in the barn. Are they beloved kin? The Atlanta Braves? I must know. Anyway, by the time you read this, I will know. Because in about 30 seconds from right now, as I'm typing this, I'm going to watch the sixth episode, which is really all that I can ask out of a television show: a semblance of the feeling of anticipation – and this week, for the first time this season, I have that feeling. (Oh, yeah, hopefully they'll finally find Sophia, too. Sheesh.)

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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Yeah I also didn't think Daryl was on shrooms. Also I must have missed something with Hershel being racist towards Glenn. Unless I missed a line of dialogue I only took his comments about Maggie staying away from him as he doesn't want any of them messing with his daughter. 1st off it's his daughter and secondly he doesn't want any of them staying around so he doesn't want anyone getting too close. He even said it was bad enough he had to keep an eye on his younger daughter and James (i think was his name) so he didn't want to have to worry about Maggie too.

November 15 2011 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bigbillbowski's comment

I'm glad you mentioned this, Big Bill. Herschel is 'racist' in the view because he mentions that Glenn is Asian. I took it completely differently..........

.....Three guys in a room. Rick, Dale, and Glenn. "Go talk to....." "Whos' Rick?" Dude in the cop suit. "Who's Dale?" The older guy. "Who's Glenn? Asian fella. That's all. And to the 'shrooms thing...Daryl wasn't on mushrooms. GhostMerle mentions he WAS on mushrooms ONCE.

They've opened the Ghost Door now. All in an effort to bring back Merle without injecting him into the story. How much you wanna bet Amy makes a little ghost appearance?

Glenn and Maggie come from the source material. It's being played ham-handedly by writers who enjoy their cheese, but the relationship is a source material fixture.

November 15 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John McGowan

I don't think Season 2 of The Walking Dead is as interesting as Season 1 was, it lacks freshness and the silly romantic subplot between the Chinese guy and the country girl is embarrassing, two grown-ups passing notes under a table, come on this is 6th grade Juvenile stuff. What were the writers thinking off??? (Probably using some of Merles drugs) :/

November 15 2011 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Daryl wasnt on mushrooms. Merle said daryl was on shrooms when he saw the chupakabra.

November 14 2011 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is probably the best/Funniest explanation I read about the "Barn Zombies":

Hershel is a pimp-daddy, and has a semi-*********** sex club in his barn ("Meat Hershel House") for zombie fetishists.

November 14 2011 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode still didn't do it for me. More walking in the woods and stupid dialog. And how many more of the group will get seriously injured while close to the farm so that the vet can conveniently help them? As to the ending it was very anti-climatic. With lots having read the graphic novels it was very hard not to come across any spoilers regarding the barn, and even without the comics they heavily hinted at something going on at the barn - and this is a zombie show, so what else would we have expected? At least we got to see Herschel's generator, one mystery solved.

November 14 2011 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Again. I am not sure if it is the story itself or the writers of the show but do either just hate women or something. This has to be the most consistent group of women characters that are just completely incompetent. Lori is still a moron, Carroll has at least accepted that she is basically useless. And this week Andrea wins the award for biggest idiot. Not only did she not listen to the smarter and more experienced people in shooting at Daryl, committing the utmost sin in firearms shooting; which is to know what the hell your target is and what your are shooting at. But she does so again without experience with the weapon and not knowing what the heck she is doing. She was just as likely to shoot one of the group that wasn't Daryl. I didn't necessarily agree with dale of taking her gun specifically for the reason that he did. But now I am in support of it. Don't let the idiots use the guns. This episode was the perfect case in point. Even Maggie was kind of an idiot this week with the junior high school move of passing the note to Glenn right in front of her father. But really, is this the archetype they want to follow for women on the show. It has been at least 6 or so months that they have been in the zombie apocalypse shouldnt they be on their way to competence or at least not as blatantly stupid as they are. This aspect of the show is starting to bother me in spite of my affinity for the show in general.

As for the rest. The doc is confirming the backwoods racist stereotype and doesn't want the Asian near his daughter. Shane and Rick are coming into their conflict well, with Shane embracing the need to adapt to their current environment and Rick begrudgingly coming to the awareness that acting like this is still not the zombie apocalypse and that he needs to stop being nice and act in benefit of himself and the group. As much as I have had issues with the slow pace of the past few episodes. This is what I believe they have been heading towards. the conundrum of becoming like Shane or staying like Rick. But they did drag that out a few episodes too much. I know it isn't something to come to quickly, but they have been looking for Sophia and on the farm since the 2nd episode and that is a while.

Oh and the doc has walkers locked up in the barn. Brilliant. I am staring to think sophia isn't missing she is the only smart one and is staying the hell away from them on purpose.

And Daryl is still Daryl only with hallucinations. But still the sanest member of the group. If I was him I would follow his hallucination and be on my own.

November 14 2011 at 2:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WHOA! SO this Vet/Doc are crazy well beyond crazy to keep those walkers in the locked barn! Surprised that Everyone didn't hear them in that locked barn during the daytimes. WOW.. What a show! When we will ever find Sophia out there in the wood or she is one of those walkers locked in the Barn?

November 14 2011 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Nikos

I really/really can't stand you as a reviewer. And before anyone asks I'm reading because I guess I'm part masochist, part can't look away from a train wreck. But really, you can't stand the show, but sort of liked the episode (I think?) As for flashbacks that explain to us part of the story, one word: Lost.

And as for teasing all of us about your special privileges as a reviewer of getting 2 DVDs, and having it, and dangling it in front of us, and now great you gets to watch it. Really? Really?

November 14 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to O Nikos's comment
Chuck Hamilton

Let's hope that those who know from reading the graphic novel don't decide to post it here. My thought? They're going to use them as a test, of sorts, to see how long the Walkers can realistically stay, uh, walking. I mean, at some point the decay and lack of food (when all the humans are gone) has to make them un-animatable, right? So keep a couple around to see when death finally catches up with them, and then you know it's the bare minimum time when it's safe to go back out into the real world.

I don't know--any other reason is probably too horrible to contemplate.

November 13 2011 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Chuck Hamilton's comment

Chuck. Hersel, himself, told you why he's keeping those zombies in there. He couldn't have been more clear about his reasoning(without tipping the Reveal, and explaining it point by point) He told you.

November 14 2011 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Piecar's comment

He's hoping for a cure! Do you think his wife and loved ones are in the barn? Perhaps the neighbors?

November 14 2011 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Hoping for a cure is one thing. But the man is a vet and he is a scientist and should know that necrosis is generally irreversible. Especially at the point of decay all the walkers were at when we saw them in the barn. The most he could hope for would be a vaccine that would have to be taken prophylactically or immediately after a bite. He is on a farm in the middle of nowhere, even if some clinic somewhere created a vaccine or a cure. The walkers in the barn will be fully decayed before they even find out. You could bath them in a vat of genetically altered stem cells and they wouldn't come back.

But I like the plot point. It gives conflict and a reason for Shane to kill them and to square off against Rick because I am sure Rick is going to be ernest and say. "But this is his farm, we should abide by what he says and does" "we should invite him to the fire and break out the guitar and sing some kumbaya" "maybe i should ask Lori about this first, I am sure she has some insight and wisdom to help us further ourselves as a group and survivors. "

November 14 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

knowing the comics is a blessing and a curse...we kinda know what's going to happen..or the writers could just go off on their own direction, damn it!

November 14 2011 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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