Monday, February 20, 2012

The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode Nine: Triggerfinger

There were a lot of things that bothered me about this episode.  Instead of doing a recap, I think that we would all be better served if we talked about the issues.

Let's begin with Lori, and her killing of the walkers.  After she gets out of the car, she goes back to retrieve her gun and then she shoots them.  This did not make any sense to me at all.  At that point, Lori was clear of them and she was more than capable of out running them.  I don't understand why she would risk a shot, when it has become a well established fact in the cannon that loud noises attract walkers.  It seems to me that the sensible thing would have been to only use the gun when cornered.  I think that this plays into yet another example of a woman on The Walking Dead making ridiculous decisions.  Granted, this one is not nearly as bad, as her getting into a tizzy for absolutely no reason, and deciding to go after Rick, Hershel and Glenn in the first place.

Speaking of Glenn, why oh why is he always the one put into a position of endangering his life?  Rick doesn't even ask Glenn how he feels, he simply orders him out of the bar to go and get the car, though he knows that there are armed men outside, and the place is crawling with walkers. In and of itself, this scene wouldn't have been that bad, if Glenn were not constantly used as bait.  It is further telling that he is one of only two regularly reoccurring men of color.  

If that were not enough, when Glenn finally returns to the farm, he feels guilty about letting Hershel and Rick down.  He feels that because Hershel saved his life and he froze, that he did not pull his weight.  From the very beginning, Glenn has been very active for the group.  When they were still camped outside of Atlanta, it was Glenn who saved Rick's life.  It's also worth noting, that if Hershel hadn't gone on a bender in the first place, none of them would have been in that situation. But yeah, Glenn feels guilty for letting them down - this in an episode in which Rick said he had no guilt for killing two human beings.

When Glenn gets outside, he is shot at by a Black man, who is quickly taken out by Hershel.  My first thought was that this incident is yet more proof of the race problem on The Walking Dead.  Not only was this man shot by Hershel, he quickly became walker food.  It was Tony, the other man who was shooting at them that Hershel, Rick and Glenn end up saving.  Once again, the White man prevails.

There is a lot of fandom about Carol and Darryl,  but this recent episode proves that this relationship is not positive.  I know that Darryl is most often seen as a misunderstood redneck, but he has a history of being racist and sexist in his language. Last week, I liked when he called Lori Olive Oyle, and made it clear that he had no intention of doing her senseless bidding, but I have a problem with him calling her a "dumb bitch". In fact, to be technical, his comments were sexist and ableist.  He can dislike Lori to the end of time, but a man calling a woman bitch will always be a strong sexist statement.  

When Darryl got into Carol's face, it proved that he is no redneck with a heart of gold.  I don't want to even hear the line about how he is suffering to.  Carol, is Sophia's mother, and nobody is suffering more than her.  He was loud, and stepping into her personal space like that was nothing more than an attempt to physically intimidate her.  He even had the nerve to point viciously at her, and wave his hand in her face, to the point where she flinched. Carol standing her ground and refusing to leave was not the sign of a strong woman, it was a  reflection of her history as a survivor of domestic abuse. Darryl is nothing more than yet another bad man, that she is in a relationship with.

Shane continued to be an asshole this week, which comes as no surprise.  His big argument against Rick, was that he could not protect the group.  To make matters worse, he is backed up by Andrea, who claims that Shane, who is not dead, has done more to keep the group safe than Rick, or anyone.  This just made me miss the Andrea of the comics.  Who is this woman and how can she not see Shane for everything that he is?  The Andrea of the comics would never have fallen for his shit.

Shane who is not dead, can only make the argument that Rick cannot protect everyone, because the women in this series have been turned into domestic workers, with no real purpose or skill.  Though Andrea's skill with a gun has finally begun to develop, they have turned her into a petulant girl child.  Lori's main occupation seems to be nagging Rick, and Carol is obviously in a depression from the loss of her child.  Our only hope of a strong well rounded female character is Maggie, and I find myself waiting for the writers to destroy her. 

When Dale first told Lori that Shane killed Otis, she found it hard to believe.  She only begins to take this seriously after Shane, who is still not dead, drives out to get her, and makes it clear that he sees her as belonging to him.  Lori is absolutely right to be creeped out by Shane, but it should never have taken this long.  Shane tried to rape her in season one, and no woman would put that out of her mind for one second.  She told Rick about sleeping with Shane, but did not mention that he tried to rape her.  Instead of sharing this with Rick she turned herself into his possession, and appealed to his male pride by saying that Shane believes she belongs to him.  She went as far as to suggest that Rick's actions were to protect what is his, and insinuated that he should become violent again to protect her. Lori has always had access to gun and if she feels that strongly, why didn't she attempt to kill Shane herself?  I know, I know, that would have denied the writers the opportunity to construct her as manipulator. Is it possible for the writers to have even one woman handle her business on The Walking Dead?

One last niggling point.  When Carl finds out that Laurie is pregnant, Lori tells Andrea, and Dale that she and Rick have not told him about the birds and the bees yet.  Instead of staying silent, Dale tells Carl that this is a conversation that he needs to have with his father.  Um excuse me, since when is it necessary for men and men alone to explain sex to their sons?  It seems to me that this should be a conversation that he has with both of his parents.  But yeah, men know best, and so it's no problem to excuse the woman who gave him life, from a very important coming of age conversation.

I know that I brought up a lot of issues with last night's episode, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. The truth of the matter is that I respect the talent and the writers too much just to accept the isms without critically examining them.  The Walking Dead is already a good show, but that doesn't mean that it can't be better by adding by diversity, and well rounded characters.