The Walking Dead cranks up the action in this week’s new episode “Triggerfinger”. Click More to read the review!
Season 2 Episode 9: Triggerfinger
Lori is in an overturned car with a walker trying to get in to have her for dinner. The walker tries pushing himself through the broken windshield to get at her until she breaks off the turn signal lever and stabs him. Another walker arrives, but she’s able to get to gun before he can get to her. In town, Rick, Herschel, and Glenn has a similar issue with danger, but not with the dead. Dave and Tony’s friends have come to find them. As they try to enter the bar, Glenn forces the door shut. Rick tries to open conversation, but they are fired upon. Back at the farm, they realize Lori has gone after the guys at the bar. Shane goes out to find her but only finds the car and the dead walkers.
When Rick, Glenn, and Herschel try to get to the car, they are shot at by two attackers. They down one, but walkers come and finish him off. Another attacker tries to jump off a roof into a truck that is leaving as more walkers approach. He lands on a fence with his leg run through. Rick doesn’t want to leave the kid, so Herschel tries to cut the leg off but they are overrun and force the kid’s leg off the fence post. Shane finds Lori and tells her that Rick and the others are back at the house, even though that is not the truth. On top of that, Shane reveals to the group that Lori is pregnant – something Carl didn’t know. This also leads to a real tough conversation between Shane and Lori about their relationship. Carol finds Daryl’s ear necklace and asks what’s going on to which he takes his frustration and anger out on her. The rest of the survivors back at the farm are preparing to go after the missing trio, but they come back. The arrival of the hurt kid, Randall, begins a brand new issue between Rick, Herschel, and Shane.
Separately, Shane and Andrea talk about how dangerous Rick’s actions and decisions are, and Lori and Rick discuss how dangerous Shane’s actions and decisions are leading to the inevitable showdown between the two alpha males of the survivors.
This episode, while boosting the action, definitely plays out much more like a thriller than anything else. Yes, we start out with a great deal of action and tension with Rick, Glenn, and Herschel trapped in the bar trying to escape from Dave and Tony’s pals. There’s a shoot out and a fair amount of thrills as they hear all the usual noises, creaks and face shooters laying in wait around corners. The scene succeeds with intensity and the more classic shootout showdown type of set up, but then kicks it up a notch by having the walkers come out from everywhere creating a problem for both our heroes and the guys they are trying to get away from.
Along with that, we also have a decent horror scene with Lori in the wrecked car with a couple walkers looking to get to her. Like the above scene at the bar, this scene has a much more classic feel to it. It’s not so much that these scenes are original, nor is it so much that these scenes are unexciting for using these types of set ups, but what both scenes do is play to the episode quite well. The scenes mix excitement, tension, and scary to keep us on pins and needles right out of the gate.
Both scenes use gore quite well. Like all good gore, it doesn’t go for the jugular. Instead, it just makes the audience wince. First, there’s the walker pushing its face into the broken windshield. As it is mindlessly pushing its face in through the broken glass, it’s skin is peeling back like a potato. As gross as that sounds, and as much as I hate gore for gore’s sake, that’s a shot that I audibly said, “Oh that’s awesome.” It’s quick and the shot doesn’t linger which makes the shot that much more memorable and cool as opposed to just be gross. It’s the type of shot, for those who saw it, could be a memorable moment for the entire series. In the escape scene, the fence post through the kid’s leg is used differently. That particular wound is seen often, but the whole situation with the walkers closing in, the trio talking at a normal tone of voice about what to do with him, the constant trying to move his leg making him scream out in pain over and over kind of desensitizes us to it all. The first glimpse makes us wince and say “ouch” but as the scene continues, we’re almost chuckling at the injury than seeing it as gross. This series has done that so well with making the more graphic things more laughable (in a good way) than straight up gory.
The real climax to this episode happens when Shane and Lori talk about their relationship. Lori stays true to her “I’m whatever I am right now” mode of expression and personality and stays firm in trying to keep her time in Shane’s pants more of a figment of both of their imagination. That’s not exactly fair of me to sum it up in that way, but with the situation as it is with zombies walking about, emotions running high, and guns everywhere, maybe really trying to approach a man’s wife sleeping with his best friend is a little more touchy than it once was.
If there’s one word that could really sum up this entire season it would be tension. I’ve used it in a lot of reviews, but with this year focusing more on characters and the relationships between them, it’s lead to more dramatic moments like the scene between Shane and Lori. Lori is desperately trying to move on now that Rick is back. She’s not even willing to remember her romps with Shane, let alone wanting to talk about it. Shane, on the other hand, is completely and totally influenced by Rick returning in all the negative ways. He’s fallen for this woman and she’s trying to push him away. Any guy who has fallen for a girl who tries to push him away knows how nearly impossible that is. Then, add to it the pregnancy, and it’s all downhill from there.
As rarely as I have talked about the acting in this series, this is one time it’s much more obvious that these actors truly embrace their characters. Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies take the second half of this episode and really make it their own. Bernthal’s unraveling as Shane has been almost hypnotic as much as it has been frustrating. I can’t wait for him to get laid out by Rick or Daryl, but having him as an immediate threat to just about everyone around him is so damn fun to watch. The same goes for Callies’ Lori. I still border on despising that character, but the way she plays a character that isn’t well liked is ballsy. I can’t imagine many people looking at the Lori character and saying, “I like that lady. She seems to have everything worked out well.” It’s not easy for someone to play a part that no one will fully sympathize with or truly even have many positive feelings about and she not only nails it but makes any reader of the comic happy she’s playing it that way.
The end of this episode is absolutely fantastic and feels like we’ve been building toward this for all 15 episodes of the series so far. Readers of the book knows Kirkman typically writes certain issues with a particular cadence to them. This episode follows that same “formula”. First, it’s Shane and Andrea starting to pull some sort of plot together to figure out how to keep Rick from getting everyone killed. Then, it’s Lori talking to Rick about what she feels is going on with Shane leaving that icy glare from Rick that almost entirely telegraphs what the next phase of these former best friends’ relationship is going to be. Rick’s expression is almost evil, but it’s almost a culmination of finally realizing that while he’s been looked at as a leader, it almost paints him as a target… Unfortunately, the one who has him in the crosshairs is the one person he thought he could trust the most.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great use of classic genre type of scenes in the beginning. Turns to great acting in the second half and finishes with a tempo reminiscent of a Kirkman comic script and an ice cold glare from our hero that is as chilling as it is memorable.||None|