The Walking Dead 2.07 "Pretty Much Dead Already" Review

Criticism of The Walking Dead‘s pacing has certainly been in no short supply since the show’s second season premiered. I’ve even been one of those critics — in my review of last week’s “Secrets,” I pointed out how frustrated I was that The Walking Dead was still using the search for Sophia to motivate plotlines. And, though it was obviously filmed long before the internet cynicism started to buzz, “Pretty Much Dead Already” felt like the perfect answer to that criticism. In fact, the episode (which served as the midseason finale) felt like the perfect episode of The Walking Dead. It was, without a doubt, the best episode since the show started airing back in October 2010.

The reason for that is the perfect blend of character development and zombies. While most of the episode centered upon the characters and their growing tensions, the lurking threat of the zombies in the barn perfectly accented that. When tensions came to a head and Shane asserted himself, he let the zombies loose from the barn, killing them but still ending the fragile peace that Rick had been struggling to create between the Atlanta survivors and Hershel. The fact that Sophia was one of the walkers in the barn was just icing on the cake.

It was a twist so obvious I was ashamed that I hadn’t been able to guess it before they revealed it. But, as it turned out, the trail that Daryl had been so anxious to follow only led back to the barn, where Hershel had placed Carol’s zombified little girl. Seeing Sophia stumble out of that barn, though, was a wonderful moment. Not only because it wrapped up the too-long storyline featuring the hunt for her, but because it gave that search an unhappy ending, which will undoubtedly change the dynamic of the survivors as we know it.

That dynamic change might just leave Shane in charge. “Rick ain’t built for this world,” Shane told Lori early on in the episode, and he certainly seems to have a point. Shane’s alpha-male dominance ultimately seems the most effective strategy in this post-apocalyptic world. And while Dale, in the episode’s most tense (and brilliant) scene, asserted his pride in not letting the world change him, Shane was right: he’s pretty much dead already. With Rick’s adamant search for Sophia given an unhappy ending, Shane’s vehemence that they move on puts him in the right and Rick in the wrong. Things aren’t looking good for Rick’s continued leadership — not without a fight with Shane, at least.

You can expect to see more of my thoughts on this possible coup over the long hiatus before The Walking Dead resumes in February. In the meantime, I’m perfectly content with how great this episode was. After “Pretty Much Dead Already,” The Walking Dead is anything but. A


11 Comments

  1. Dim Wit November 27, 2011
  2. moestes November 27, 2011
  3. notnecessary November 27, 2011
  4. becbec24 November 27, 2011
    • Chris January 4, 2012
  5. Beridoc November 28, 2011
  6. Colm O' Toole November 28, 2011
    • moestes November 28, 2011
  7. gregg November 29, 2011
  8. Henry November 30, 2011
  9. jvon December 27, 2011

Add Comment

Westworld Season 3
Five Things We Learned from the Westworld Season 3 Trailer
Goldbergs Season 7
What Can We Expect from The Goldberg’s Season 7?
Brian Cox Succession
Five Things We Learned from the Succession Season 2 Trailer
VPN
5 Popular Ways to Stream Your Favorite Content Online
Tom and Jerry
Everything We Know about the Tom & Jerry Movie So Far
Ghostbusters Stay Puft
Jason Reitman Directing New Ghostbusters Does Give us Hope
Blinded by the Light movie
10 Reasons We’ll Be Seeing “Blinded by the Light”
Michael Rooker in Cliffhanger
Why Michael Rooker Would Make a Perfect King Shark
Brendan Schaub stand up
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Brendan Schaub
Jodie Comer
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Jodie Comer
Disha Patani
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Disha Patani
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Lisa Linke
Alan Moore Comic Book Writer
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Alan Moore
Squirrel Girl
Why Squirrel Girl Deserves Her Own Featured Film
10 Things You Never Knew about Batman’s Logo
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Doctor Strange’s Dormammu
Raphtalia
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Raphtalia
What Exactly is the Goku Ultra Instinct Form?
20 Things You Didn’t Know about Goblin Slayer
The History and Evolution of AnimeJapan
Georgia Setting
Is The Best ‘Walking Dead’ Story In A Video Game?
marvels iron man vr hero banner
Five Upcoming Superhero Video Games We’re Psyched For
Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix Finally Gives a Final Fantasy VII Update
Star Citizen
Will Gamers Ever Get to Play Star Citizen?