The Walking Dead season 2 episode 6 review: Secrets

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Review Ron Hogan 21 Nov 2011 - 08:36
The Walking Dead

We're an episode away from the mid-season break of The Walking Dead. So what delights did Secrets have in store? Here's our review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.6 Secrets

Another day, another trip into town, and more secrets to pile upon our thick layer of secrets. Lori is keeping secrets from Rick, Rick is keeping secrets from everyone, Glenn is trying to keep secrets from anyone (and failing), Maggie is keeping secrets from her father (who is keeping secrets from the survivors), and we all know Shane's secrets by now.

Of course, what's a good Walking Dead episode without some zombies? This week's episode was a pretty good one by the show's recent standards, with some things actually happening in between all the talking (and for a change, the talking was actually pretty good). They covered a lot of issues this week, from Lori's pregnancy and her quandary on whether or not to try to end said pregnancy to gun control when it comes to tweens after the zombie outbreak.

I'll talk about Lori's pregnancy later, but the issue regarding gun control (and Carl learning about guns) seems to be a stupid one, for the following reasons. 1.) This is the South; in most parts of the rural south (like Cobb County, where Rick seems to be from given his uniform patches), kids like Carl have already been hunting and have spent years handling guns. 2.) What's Carl going to do with his gun once he learns how to use it, accidentally shoot Darryl? Nope, that's Andrea's job. 3.) Being shot in the face by Carl is a way better way to die than being Otis'd by Shane and left for zombie dinner.

Of course, we are talking about Lori, who isn't exactly the best decision maker regarding this new way of life. Neither is her husband, for that matter, but at least Rick's consistently an idealistic fool. Lori seems to just be a fool.

So, it looks like Carl is going to join the gun club, with Andrea and Shane and the rest of them. For Andrea and Shane, it gives them a chance to go looking for Sophia as well as to poke around the surrounding countryside while making the survivors more effective at fending off zombies. It gives the Greenes and the non-weapons-savvy survivors (Andrea) a chance to learn how to safely handle weapons (Andrea). It also gives T-Dog a chance to say the line of the night when he tells Jimmy to “knock off that gangster shit” when he catches him shooting sideways like a very white refugee from Boyz In The Hood.

One of the things the show has done right since arriving at the Greene farm is that its focus has kind of shifted away from Rick and Lori and put more emphasis on two of my favorite characters on the programme (and from the comic), Dale and Glenn.

Dale is finally proving himself to be the smartest, most observant of the group, considering the fact that he's one of the only members to actually notice Lori and Shane's dalliances. Of course, Dale is also the person who, in the first season, actually saw Shane holding a gun on Rick during a walk through the woods, and finally, in a brilliant callback, Dale finally mentions this when having a good confrontation with Shane.

Screenwriter Angela Kang (of the late, lamented Terriers) must've done something right to get the go-ahead to write pretty much all the verbal confrontations we've been waiting on. To her credit, she handles them well, even if she does telegraph some of Shane's lines to Dale.

Dale's the anti-Lori, if only because Lori seems to think that eating a bunch of morning after pills will do anything to a pregnancy that's already pretty far along even given the show's tenuous time line. Seriously, Lori; it's the morning after pill, not the month after pill. How late do you think Lori was before she realized she was actually not going to menstruate?

Still, one thing Lori did this week that was pretty logical was leave her discarded morning-after pill containers in the tent where Rick could find them. This allows her to get a lot of her secrets off her chest without actually having to talk about them with Rick. It's the classic “kid leaving his/her present wish list out where anyone can see it” trick.

As for Glenn, well... he's become the agent of change for the entire programme, simply because he's the only one of the survivors who has the sneakiness to get around without attracting hordes of walkers (ahem, Shane and Andrea...).

Glenn being the errand boy and being Maggie's secret lover has actually turned him from a background painting into the character he was in the first part of this season, and I'm glad for it. Not only does he save his girlfriend's life in the pharmacy, he also tells Dale about the secret missions he's been going on, which allows Dale to confront Herschel indirectly. It also allows Dale to nudge Lori into action concerning her not-so-secret pregnancy.

Without Glenn and Dale, the show would have literally gone nowhere during the first half of the second season, and Jeffrey DeMunn is getting some good work out of Dale's newfound relevance to the plot. It's good, because I like the actor and I'm a huge fan of the character (even if he's going to have a different storyline than his comic counterpart).

One of the reasons why Glenn has kind of stepped up as an important character since coming to the Greene farm is Maggie herself. Once Glenn spent the day with his sexy farm girl, he's become a man in more than one sense of the word. He's taking more risks (the better to impress his lady), but he's also behaving more and more like the leader Maggie tells him he should be. He's actually confronting Lori, he's saving Maggie's life, he's getting his freak on, and he's going to be playing a crucial role in the rest of the season if there's any justice on this show.

Steven Yuen is playing Glenn's newfound confidence very well, I think. He's still old Glenn in the sense that he's not a terribly vocal leader, but he's actually showing Glenn taking matters into his own hands when the situation calls for it, which is a great improvement for the character and a credit to the actor. Glenn's brave when he needs to be, but he's also completely lacking in confidence, which makes his bravery and his guts that much more appealing. I root for Glenn more so than anyone else in the survivor group.

Fortunately, things are picking up the pace, just in time for the dreaded and hated mid-season break (director David Boyd of Friday Night Lights fame is helming this and the next episode, taking us into the break and getting a chance to play with some zombie hordes in the process).

That's right, The Walking Dead is going to take a Christmas vacation after next week's episode. Given the fact we've established there's a barn full of zombies (and kudos to Mrs. Otis for feeding the zombies chickens after first Otising them via broken legs, which makes sense considering Hershel et al believe the zombied loved ones are still alive and hungry), I think the mid-season break will be a great place to actually get those zombies into action. That barn's got to come down, and maybe finally we'll get the survivors on the road (or at least ruin Hershel's misguided Red Cross camp for the undead).

Let's just hope the big semi-finale is going to be worth the crawl to get there.

Read our review of the last episode, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is glad to see characters he likes becoming important again. Even if is means less Daryl. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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