The Walking Dead Episode 208
Written By: Evan Reilly
Directed By: Clark Johnson
Original Airdate: 12 February 2012
In This Episode...
With Hershel and his family finally facing the truth about the walkers, they start to fall apart. Hershel wants the group to leave his farm immediately (or, at the very least, Shane). Maggie is worried that if the group leaves, Glenn will leave, too. Beth falls into a fevered state of shock. And Hershel has disappeared. Maggie reveals that her father used to be an alcoholic - he quit cold turkey the day she was born, but before that, his second home was the town bar. Against Lori's wishes, Rick goes to the bar to find Hershel, Glenn in tow.
Sure enough, Hershel is drowning his sorrows. It wasn't until Shane opened that barn and started shooting that he realized there was no cure for the walkers. He feels stupid and naive and blames himself for encouraging his remaining family to hold on to false hope. He has given up. Rick is finally starting to reach Hershel when a couple of men come in, Dave and Tony from Philadelphia. Dave is a sketchy smooth-talker, while Tony is an uncouth douchebag. Along with their own group of survivors, the pair had been chasing wild rumors: a refugee camp in DC (roads were blocked; they couldn't make it), boats out to remote islands, trains taking people out to Nebraska (where there are lots of guns but not many people). None had panned out. The military installation that Rick's group had been headed towards was completely overrun. Dave wants to join forces with Rick and Hershel and move his survivors onto Hershel's farm. Hershel is drunk so Rick gently turns him down. Dave won't take no for an answer. Tony is itching to shoot them, but Dave stops him. Instead, Rick shoots them both dead.
Also of interest this week:
Carl is eerily detached from Sophia's death. He was convinced that he would be the one to find her, hiding in the woods. But Rick "did the right thing. I would have done the same." Lori is worried that Carl is turning cold and doesn't want Rick to go looking for Hershel - he needs to stay here and look after his own. Rick says he is - someone has to deliver Lori's baby.
Dale is on shaky moral high-ground, believing that what Shane did by opening up the barn was wrong - and you get the feeling that he felt it was "wrong" to shoot zombie Sophia. He finally tells Lori that, while he has no proof, he believes that Shane fed Otis to the zombies so he could escape.
Daryl takes Sophia's death very hard - much harder than the good ol' boy would ever admit.
Carol is in a strange state of catatonia. On the one hand, she had already begun the mourning process; on the other, all hope was now gone. Shane is unexpectedly tender with her.
Lori, frustrated with Rick's extended absence. She hops in a sedan with a gun and a map and heads off looking for him. While looking at the map, she fails to see a walker stumbling about, and hits him with the car - hard. The car flips and lands in a ditch.
Dig It or Bury It?
This was an understated episode, full of emotion, but not obnoxiously so. While it was enjoyable, nothing really happened (well, except when Rick offed those two dicks). I was surprised at how gripping this episode was. It wasn't particularly talky, which I think helped. Actions and emotions often speak louder than whines, no matter how annoying or high-pitched they are.
I was glad to see Rick shoot those two townies. He needs a more "human" side, as opposed to the "hero" side he usually wears. Besides, the role of righteous asshole is well played by Dale. I love his character because I hate him so much - I just want to punch him in the face.
Wisdom of the Walking Dead
Andrea helps organize the funeral for Sophia and Hershel's family. "We bury the ones we love," she explains, "and burn the rest."
Kill of the Week
This was a zombie-lite episode but towards the beginning, young Beth runs to her zombie mother's corpse. Zombie mommy isn't quite dead yet, and she grabs her daughter by the pigtails. Andrea comes to her rescue by landing a scythe to the back of her head, the tip cutting clean through her forehead on the other side.
Rick gets his comeuppance when members of Dave and Tony's group come looking for them, and Rick turns a trip to a bar into a standoff.