THE WALKING DEAD: 2:12 “Better Angels”
38 minutes of boring talking, between or about characters that you hardly have much of an emotional connection to, followed by a final five minutes of more or less exciting action that leaves you looking hopefully toward the next episode. Wash, rinse, repeat. The last several episodes of The Walking Dead have followed this formula, and “Better Angels” was no exception. While the last five minutes were exciting enough, I feel that I may have burned out on this show. The entire season spent hanging out on Herschel’s farm (that for some reason up to this point, has remained miraculously free of zombie attack) and the hours spent listening to anguished people talk about how their lives have changed has left me cold. I’m not sure why I haven’t connected with these characters. Is it because Shane seemed more like a cartoonish, out of control rageaholic rather than a calculating, dangerous man? Is it because Lori seems inexplicably annoying and foolish? Is it because poor T-Dogg has had, like, three lines all season? I don’t know what the problem is, but besides Daryl’s vison quest episode in the wilderness, I could barely feel connected to any of the characters this season. In the past, I was willing to overlook this and hope that it improved in the future, but the pace of this season has been so slow, and the action so spread out and scarce, that this show has worn thin for me.
Yes, it was really interesting to see Rick offer his hand in friendship to Shane, only to stab him to death moments later because he realized that Shane has become too volatile to be trustworthy. But Shane always seemed kind of nuts, and I wasn’t ever really sure why he and Rick were friends in the first place. I didn’t really like seeing Carl shoot the zombified Shane a few moments later. It seemed too cliche to me; of course the plucky young son of our hero has to become a man and shoot down the zombie threatening his father, thus redeeming himself for the role he played in Dale’s death.
By the way: what’s with Shane and Randall suddenly coming back as zombies after their deaths, even though they hadn’t been bitten or otherwise infected (at least, as far as we know)? I hope they get into this a little bit more, because I felt like it sort of violated the mythology of the show. I thought people were supposed to get bit or scratched, and then get sick, like that one guy did in the second or third episode of season one?
Sigh. I don’t know. I want to like this show, but I find myself barely caring when I’m watching it. I literally almost fell asleep last night half way through it, and that never happens. The episode ended in a pretty compelling way, with a horde of zombies finally ready to storm Herschel’s farm, but a lot of past episodes have ended in a compelling way only to see my interest fizzle in the first five minutes of the next one. It is the season finale, though, so maybe AMC will pull out the heavy artillery for it. We’ll see. I’ll still watch, but my interest is hanging on by a thread at this point.