TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD Season 2, Episode 8 'Nebraska'

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Walking Dead

Following the explosive events of Pretty Much Dead Already, fallout is the name of this week's game. Some members of the group bicker and fight. Others withdraw completely. Shane is unrepentant, as always. Hershel, meanwhile, is a man desperately in need of a drink.

And who can blame him? His beliefs rocked to the core, he retreats to the nearest bar. Trauma from last week's barn massacre overflows into Nebraska's pre-credits sequence, in which Hershel's undead wife attempts to attack their daughter. She is swiftly dispatched by Andrea and a scythe, leaving the Greene family even more traumatised than before. He demands Rick's group leave his farm (sadly without the words “get off'a my land” in a West country accent) before storming off to the pub.

As has become status quo with their relationship by now, Rick and Shane argue loudly. Mind, everyone argues with Shane these days. First he accuses Hershel of knowing that Sophia was in the barn all along, then has another run-in with disapproving Dale. Elsewhere, Carol refuses to attend her own daughter's funeral, much to Daryl's chagrin. Daryl's obvious grief is touching, although his downcast attitude means that he doesn't have a lot to do in this episode.

Meanwhile, despite Shane's drastic unravelling, his tender side is revealed in a rather sweet moment shared with poor Carol. It's moments like this which make Shane a difficult character to hate. Unless you're Dale of course, who shares with Lori his (correct) theory about Shane murdering Otis. It may be a while before Lori gets to share this information though, since she promptly heads out on the road to look for her husband and ends up crashing the car in a ditch, upside down.

With Hershel missing, Rick and Glenn follow him to the bar to hold an intervention. Rick at last manages to talk the man out of the bottle and his crisis of faith, just as two men enter the bar. They are cordial and polite at first, but given that one of them is Michael Raymond-James (serial killer Rene Lenier) from True Blood, it's a foregone conclusion that they're a bad sort. Rick and Hershel obviously agree, refusing to divulge the location of Hershel's farm. The pair get awfully testy at this news, whereupon Rick shoots them both dead on the spot.

This, presumably, is in preparation for the arrival of The Governor; suggesting that not all survivors are as friendly as the Grimes crew. There's also the revelation that Fort Benning is completely overrun, leaving the survivors' plans effectively dead in the water. Before being blasted away, the two men then mention being part of a larger group – what implications will Rick's actions have for the rest of the season? Still, it's probably for the best - Hershel has enough to cope with as it is, so it's a good idea not to invite anyone else back to the farm for the time being. Especially not creepy serial killers from True Blood.

Nebraska is a logical follow-up to the previous week's shocking events, but nothing more than that. The conversation between Rick and Hershel mimics many we've heard over the course of the show, with one character expressing a lack of hope for survival, and another contradicting that sentiment. It's not explained how Sophia came to be a zombie either – a tiny little portion like that, surely she would have been whittled down to the bone, rather than escaping with just one dainty little bite? It's a plot hole that plagues not just The Walking Dead but zombie cinema as a whole: why aren't the streets strewn with meat-stripped skeletons by now? Surely a big city like Atlanta would have been covered with them? And why didn't T-Dog and Shane seem to smell the enormous pile of corpses they were seen handling in the episode's final moments? A stink like that, they should have been able to smell Hershel's barn from miles away.

How much longer the group can stay where they are is unclear. It's starting to hurt the dynamic of the show now, this decompression. Like Shane, the viewer is getting itchy feet. Time to move on, perhaps?

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