The Walking Dead S02E08 Review: "Nebraska"

Photobucket

It's been two and a half months since we watched Sophia come out of the barn full of walkers as a walker herself. The show however picked up right where we left off, with Rick's smoking gun and a group of people left in horror. Sophia's death changed things, it changed perspective, which was best described by Hershel and visibly evident in Rick.

This episode's writing was night and day, lazy at some points and great at others. The last ten minutes specifically were fantastic. It gave us everything that made us fans of the show in the first place. The tension and suspense made for great TV and then to have Rick kill both Dave and Tony the way he did was just a great way to cap things off. The scene showed us just how different Rick is now compared to when he was holding onto the walker just an episode ago while a maniacal Shane opened the barn doors. We got a first glimpse of the Rick that fans of the comic books know and love. Rick knows it's no longer about putting the group in harms way trying to find nonexistent refugee camps or even a cure. The only thing left now is survival at any cost. In this episode, Rick knew that survival had to come at the expense of both Dave and Tony.

Some may see Rick's actions as hypocritical and they probably were. His reasons for not allowing Dave and his group to take refuge at Hershel's farm included the fact that Rick knew nothing about Dave and his group. While that's true, Hershel knew nothing about Rick and his group while allowing them to stay at his farm while Carl was healing and even long after that. Even when Hershel tried to make the group leave, Rick was begging him to show compassion, as sending them away would mean certain death. So how does Rick now turn away a group of people looking for shelter, forcing them to face certain death? That would be a great question to ask the old Rick, but this Rick is now in survival mode. He knows that Dave and his group could easily kill all of them and take the farm for themselves, so why risk it? Instead Rick does what he believes he has to do to protect his own group, while Hershel gives him a look of both disapproval and respect.

It will also be interesting to see the fan reaction to Rick's actions. In my opinion, what Rick did was no different than what Shane did to Otis. Sure what Shane did was more brutal in that he left Otis to be eaten alive, but Shane was doing what he thought he needed to do to not only survive himself, but also to help Carl survive. Shane's actions were met with disgust and hatred by a lot of people and so it will be interesting to see if Rick receives any of that criticism.

The rest of the show was hit and miss, which is crazy to say because so far I've only really covered about 10-15 minutes of the episode. The main part of the episode, which eventually leads us into our final scene is the pursuit of Hershel who seems to have disappeared, which we later learn was a result of his realization that the world is pretty much for a lack of a better word, screwed. The group however needs Hershel, as his daughter Beth collapsed from what the group claims to be shock. Earlier in the day, Beth watched her zombie mother get shot in the head. Then when she went to find her body, her mother reanimated once more and attacked her until Andrea put a scythe through her head. Overall I'd say it was a pretty traumatizing experience. Don't forget that Hershel has been telling his family that the zombies were not dead and the cure had to be out there somewhere, so for Beth this was the first time she would have had to come to terms with her mother's death.

After Shane finds Hershel's empty flask, the group agrees that he must have run off to his favourite bar in the town. Rick and Glenn decide to go on a mission to find Hershel, which is met with much debate from Lori who doesn't want Rick to leave the farm. Rick pretty much ignores her nagging and goes anyways. Then we get our stupid Lori decision of the episode. Lori tries to convince Daryl follow behind Rick and Glenn, who have already left, but Daryl is done with helping people, so he harshly declines. Lori decides that she will go and find Rick who is already looking for Hershel just to tell him that Hershel needs to come back to the farm. Talk about a nagging wife. Anyways, after being distracted while driving, Lori hits a walker that wandered into the middle of the road, which causes her car to flip over into a ditch. Thankfully, that's the last we see of Lori in this episode.

The episode leaves us with a lot of open stories, which hasn't really been the case this season. At the end of the episode we have Beth needing medical assistance at home, Lori in her flipped over car on the side of the road, and the trio of Rick, Hershel and Glenn holed up in the bar with two guys Rick just killed.

Answered Questions
A couple of questions that were brought up in my previous blog were answered in this episode, so let's get to them.

Did Hershel know that Sophia was in his barn? Hershel claims that Otis was the one that put the walkers in the barn. If Hershel did know though, he was allowing the group to search for her, putting their lives at risk.

Hershel once again defended that he had no idea that Sophia was in the barn, claiming that Otis was the one that put all of the walkers in the barn. I guess we'll have to take his word on that. Glenn didn't seem to convinced though, going as far as to ask Maggie if she knew even after her father said that he didn't. Maggie didn't look to happy about the question, but Beth collapsing interrupted her response.

Will Hershel let the group stay at the farm or force them to move on? We've seen Hershel waiver back and forth on this, but based on Shane's antics in the latest episode, it's hard to see Hershel wanting them to stay.

Hershel made it pretty clear that he wanted the group, or at least Shane off of his property after what happened at the barn. That was before what happened at the bar though. It's possible that Hershel will see that there are other survivors out there that may want to take his farm and that having Rick and the group stay at the farm may be a good way to defend it.

Top 5 Unanswered Questions

1. What did Dr. Jenner whisper into Rick's ear at the end of the episode "TS-19" in season one? Rick almost reveals this over the radio to Morgan in the first episode of season two, but then chooses not to.

2. Did Lori survive the car crash? If so, is her baby ok?

3. What happened to Merle? We know he escaped the rooftop by cutting off his hand. Was he able to get past the zombies? If so, where will he turn up next? We were teased with his return in season two, episode five, but he turned out to be Daryl's imagination.

4. Is Beth's sickness really just shock or was she infected by her mother in some way? It was mentioned that she had a strong fever.

5. Dave and Tony mentioned that they also had a group. Where is the rest of their group and how will they react when they find out that Dave and Tony have been killed?

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Storto
Follow Me on Twitter!

Comments 15
George Prax's picture

Good episode. Not 8 good for me but still good, maybe just because it's good to have the show back. Loved the last 10 minutes, rest was uneven and incredibly slow paced, as expected. Hope Lori's dumb baby's dead. I expect the fallout from killing those guys to be the setup to the Governor, possibly Merle's return. From the promo next week looks like a lot more action.

7 out of 10 for me.

Rhymin Greiman's picture

I think the preview to next week's episode was awesome and answered question #2 & #5 (in a way). I'm really hoping this is the TV show's way of bringing The Governor into the mix. The entire time they were talking to Dave and Tony I just got that bad vibe (much like Rick had) not to trust them and also was hoping they were linked to the group led by The Governor.

My guess to #1 is that there is some sort of cure (much like the antigen for the T-Virus from Resident Evil) or he knows how it all started and there is no hope of a cure. It's hard to tell if what he was told was good news or bad but I'm going with the latter.

My guess to #3 is that Merle is alive (wishful thinking since I love anything Michael Rooker is involved in) and possibly leading this rouge group of scavengers/bandits. Or in some strange twist he's the show's version of The Governor.

A lot of the things in the comics are being shoved aside and I'm loving that because going in I felt I knew where the series was heading only to be shot down every other episode with a new angle.

Personally.... I'm still awaiting Michonne....

Patrick Storto's picture

I think the answer to number one is something other than a cure. Something Rick knew in the comics that hasn't come to light yet in the show. I don't want to spoil it, so we'll have to wait and see. But judging by Rick's actions after he killed Tony, leaning over him for a brief moment after he shot him, I think we'll know soon.

George Prax's picture

Phil's theory to #1 (which I agree with) is that he told Rick that Lori was pregnant. Although I'm not sure why he wouldn't have mentioned it explicitly, even before she found out. I know they were busy but you'd think he'd tell his wife not to exert herself too much. Either way I don't think it will end up being a show-changing plot point at this point.

Have the comics gone to Nebraska? Is that where the governor is? If they're setting that up, Merle could definitely be the leader of that group once they get there.

Phil T's picture

1. Either that's he or someone he knows is immune to the virus or that Lori was pregnant

2. Unfortunately she did; baby probably a goner

3. Probably will come back in the prison or Woodbury (as the Governor?)

4. Who cares?

5. We find out they come looking for the two idiots at the bar and get in a firefight with Rick and co in the promo for next week

Patrick Storto's picture

The comics don't go to Nebraska.

As for Phil's theory. In the season 2 premiere, when Rick is talking over the radio trying to reach Morgan, he almost tells him what Dr. Jenner told him, but then decides not to. That theory doesn't fit too well with that scene.

George Prax's picture

Phil T wrote:
1. Either that's he or someone he knows is immune to the virus or that Lori was pregnant

2. Unfortunately she did; baby probably a goner

3. Probably will come back in the prison or Woodbury (as the Governor?)

4. Who cares?

5. We find out they come looking for the two idiots at the bar and get in a firefight with Rick and co in the promo for next week


#4 If they're sitting around someone who's infected, we should definitely care. Especially considering it didn't look like she was bitten.

Phil T's picture

I just meant I don't care about her character one bit.

Phil T's picture

Patrick Storto wrote:
The comics don't go to Nebraska.

As for Phil's theory. In the season 2 premiere, when Rick is talking over the radio trying to reach Morgan, he almost tells him what Dr. Jenner told him, but then decides not to. That theory doesn't fit too well with that scene.


I didn't remember that scene!

George Prax's picture

I think it could fit. Rick has a legit relationship with that guy. I'd have to rewatch it but it could be Rick just wanting to get it off his chest to someone.

Phil T's picture

George Prax wrote:
I think it could fit. Rick has a legit relationship with that guy. I'd have to rewatch it but it could be Rick just wanting to get it off his chest to someone.


I agree. Rick could have wanted to share his concern about raising a kid in Zombieland with someone impartial.

Patrick Storto's picture

I don't know, I think if you see the scene you'll know what I mean. It's at the very beginning of the first episode of season 2.

George Prax's picture

Well keep in mind that line was written by Darabont before he was fired, and that the current writing isn't exactly amazing. I wouldn't bet my life on tone.

Patrick Storto's picture

I think it was Robert Kirkman that said during the break in an interview that what was told to Rick would be revealed by the end of season 2. It just doesn't make sense that they would plant that seed for it only to be Lori's pregnancy, which we already know about. There's really no payoff to that secret at all. If it was Lori's pregnancy it's also something that Rick would never need to reveal now that everyone knows.

Patrick Storto's picture

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-dissection-rober...

In a November interview with Robert Kirkman, he states that Lori's pregnancy is not what Dr. Jenner whispered to Rick.