(I should mention, the following contains a spoiler or two for the comic series, as well as spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen episode 206.)
It was excellent, and worth looking forward to, but I'm not going to write a review. Instead, since apparently everyone and his mom is writing previews and spoilers, I figured I'd look at where we are in the narrative, make a few educated guesses about where we're going next, and approach the show as though I were writing it myself. That is to say, every writer is different, and there's a good chance that my guesses will be way off; I'm hoping to offset my inevitable inaccuracies by saying, "I meant to do that."
|Really, I'm not sure it can get any more clear than that.|
The Walking Dead isn't about zombies any more than Rescue Me was about fire. It is a story about survivors. An understanding of this basic concept is pretty much vital to an appreciation of both the books and the show. As the series progresses, we see that it is, in fact, several stories, intertwined. Just like life itself. It is the story of individuals -- of each of their strengths, weaknesses, and desires -- and of the group as a unit. Learn this fact. The producers, no matter how much you bitch on their facebook page, will probably never turn TWD into a Romero movie.
And, let's face it, as much as I am a fan of zombie movies (my wife would call it an obsession), at some point the monsters themselves start to run together -- to look the same -- and ultimately, it really is the human story which is more interesting.
|As it turns out, discovering you wife is pregnant AND|
is trying to abort it, all at the same time,
IS a little disappointing.
Rick, to his credit, refuses to blame either his wife or his best friend when he finds out they had slept together during his absence. "I know," he says. "You thought I was dead. Didn't you?" He's hurt, but is trying to understand. At the same time, it is not the nightmare in which he and all the other survivors live, but all these disappointments (great and small) in his fellow man, which are going to erode his sanity.
|Same old story: Boy meets girl. Girl almost gets |
eaten bya zombie. Boy discovers will to live.
Maggie is going to temper Glenn's willingness to risk his own life and also bolster his confidence in himself as a contributing member of society. Glenn's character arc is far from peaked, though, and he's due for further testing.
Hype for tonight's show centers on a "shock" ending, which makes sense for a finale -- even a midseason. By now, anyone paying attention understands that the show is using the comic books more for character development and a very basic plot guide. But the producers have (rightly, in my opinion) decided to keep the show fresh by deviating from the book series in major ways. What this means is that viewers should probably prepare themselves to lose some characters early, who would otherwise have stayed with us for a while.
|Crazy? I went crazy once!|
New story or no, Shane is himself on a death spiral. He will probably survive the midseason finale, and may even live through the season. But ultimately, he's going to die. While many would like to see some redemption for Shane, as he selflessly runs interference so somebody else can live, I have a hunch that, as in the comics, it will ultimately be a member of the Grimes family who puts him down. It may or may not be Carl, but I think it certain that it will be either him, Lori, or Rick.
Speaking of Lori, I have the feeling she'll be dead before the baby is born. The producers could choose to add the infant to the mix and see how it changes the dynamic, but I don't think they will. This means, most likely, killing off mom and daughter like in the comic books (which will come much later in the series), having Lori miscarry, or killing Lori and the baby in or before childbirth. If Darabont were still writing, I almost wouldn't put the first option past him (seriously: have you seen The Mist?). But he and the producers alike have to know how poorly that will play with American audiences. The second option is possible; it's even possible that after such an event, Lori would commit suicide -- the emotional impact for Rick and co. would be pretty much the same. It's even possible to write it in such a way that her aborted abortion attempt could come into play. Still, it's exactly because of that attempt that I think such an option unlikely. The third option is most likely. It honestly wouldn't shock me too much if it were Shane who was ultimately responsible for it. For some reasons, while Audiences would have a strong reaction to such an event, it wouldn't be a wholly negative one.
There is also some speculation around the web that Sophia will finally be found in tonight's episode -- inside the barn, already a Walker. If it happens that way, it also drastically changes another character dynamic that's been in the works: that between Daryl and Carol.
Guess we'll wait and see.