By Andrew Conrad, email@example.com
9:12 PM EST, November 13, 2011
Major shocker on this week's episode of "The Walking Dead" they still haven't located Sophia.
This whole search for Sophia thing is turning into a real doozie of a MacGuffin.
At least Shane is acknowledging that this mission is really dragging on, going so far as to equate it to saving a cat from a tree.
If Shane had it his way, they'd just leave her for dead. Of course, Shane's only concern is protecting Rick's wife Lori, and their son Carl at any cost. That's kind of weird, and Lori tells him as much, saying: "My son and I are not your problem anymore, or your excuse."
So Shane's starting to play the Darth Vader role, and Rick — who isn't giving up on the Sophia hunt — is like Obi-Wan Kenobi. That means that Carl is going to be like Luke Skywalker when he gets a little older and finds a lightsaber.
I think this is really going to come to a head as Shane starts to get more and more protective of Lori and Carl. First off, Rick's going to be like, "Hey man, you need to back up off of my family brah, I got this." And then Shane is going to be like, "Listen pal, if you can't protect them, I will." And then Rick is going to be like "Protect this!" and dragon punch him and it will be on like Mo Vaughn.
Meanwhile, Hershel continues to be a rude host and make everyone feel uncomfortable for hanging out on his farm, even though all they're doing is sleeping in pup tents out in the yard. Sheesh, that farmer who let all those hippies have Woodstock at his house was much cooler than Hershel.
They even make him dinner, and he's like, "Hey, who authorized this? I didn't know anything about this." Hey Hershel, just eat your ham and shut up. What are you anyway, the fun police?
I can see things going bad for Hershel if he keeps this up. If Shane sees Hershel as a threat to Lori and Carl's wellbeing — booting them off of the farm where they are safe — Hershel might have an accident in his future.
In romance news, Maggie and Glenn's on-again, off-again relationship seems to be on again. Their booty call in this episode was spoiled when Glenn found a gaggle of zombies hanging out in the barn, foiling his plans to "do it in a hayloft."
What the heck does Hershel have all of those zombies penned up in the barn for anyway? Were they his old drinking buddies and he just can't bear to put them down? Is he doing sadistic experiments on them? Does he just like to get his rocks off by going out there at night and pelting them with rocks? If he was smart, he'd rig up some sort of wheel mechanism that they could turn to generate electricity to power the whole farm instead of dumping all that gasoline in that banged up old generator. Now that's a capital idea!
So last week's episode teased that Merle would be returning, but in fact he's only back as a vision to Daryl, spurring him up a hill. Daryl has a rough go of it this week, falling off of his hoss down a hill, impaling himself on one of his arrows, and being shot in the head by Andrea (it only grazed him). Who does Andrea think she is anyway, Otis? (Remember, he accidentally shot little Carl).
On a side-note, the episode began with a flashback of everyone trying to drive into Atlanta and getting into a huge traffic jam. It reminded me of that R.E.M. video. We see that A-hole Ed again. What a jerk that guy was. I sure don't miss him. Then there was a pretty cool shot of them watching choppers rain napalm death all over Atlanta! It was a pretty heavy scene, but you could make some good jokes about it, like "Hey I know that they call it Hotlanta, but this is ridiculous!" or "I haven't seen Atlanta burning this bad since "Gone with the Wind"!"
By the way, they didn't actually find a chupacabra in this episode, unfortunately. Oh, and a chupacabra is like a little dog thing with giant, sharp teeth. It isn't a real animal, it's like bigfoot or unicorns or penguins.
Most bawdy conversation
Shane and Rick, strolling through the woods, talking about their respective high school sexploits. Shane gets confused about the difference between the words protégé and prodigy, and Rick is embarassed when Shane teases him for not knowing what a home run was in sexual parlance. Shane makes some crude sound effects imitating sexual intercourse and brags about banging Mrs. Kelly, the 30-year old girls volleyball coach.
Manliest Manly Man
Daryl Dixon. He fell off of a hoss, impaled himself on an arrow, fell down a hill twice, climbed it twice, shot a squirrel with an arrow, butterflied the squirrel with his knife, ate the squirrel and got blood all over his face, pulled out the arrow, shot a zombie with it, smashed another zombies face to smithereens with a log, made a necklace out of zombie ears and uttered the phrase "I ain't nobody's bitch!"
Eat that Bear Grylls!
The spiritual embodiment of Merle Dixon. A sampling of the barbs he uses to spur Daryl out of his swoon and climb up that hill:
"Look at you, lying in the dirt like a used rubber!"
"You're nothin' but a freak to them, redneck trash, that's all you are."
"One of these days they gonna scrape you off their heels like you was dogsh!t."
"Kick off them damn high heels and climb son!"
He also calls him Durleena. Durleena!
Funnest looking water slide
The one that Daryl slid down when he fell off of his hoss. Daryl's like "Hey hoss, next time you throw me off of you can you throw me into a lazy river?"
Biggest waste of a zombie ear necklace
Rick, just tossing it underfoot like a used rubber. If they had hung onto it, it would have been the source of lots of good chuckles. For example, "Hey Daryl, lend me an ear" or "I think we should play this one by ear" or "Keep an ear to the ground." Or he could do crude things like put cotton swabs in the ears.
Mine, that since Daryl shot that zombie with the arrow that had his own non-infected blood on it, that zombie will become cured of zombides. Then that zombie is going to just wake up in the middle of the woods and be like, "Whaaaaattttt???"
Things that were hard to read in Dale's RV
1. The book that Glenn borrowed and was returning. I paused and rewinded a bunch of times but the only detail that I could glean was that it had an alien on the cover. I don't think it was "Communion: A True Story". Anyway, they sure hated it.
2. The Miracle of Friendship sign. This one was a little easier to track down.
3. The sign near the sink. It was yellow with black letters. I couldn't quite make it out, but it probably had something to do with washing your hands after you use the crapper or cleaning up after yourself or keeping this place clean or something.
Most awkward dinner conversation
Glenn, from his kids table, breaking the silence: "Does anybody know how to play guitar? Dale ... found a cool one, somebody's got to know how to play."
Otis' widowed wife: "Otis did."
Hershel: "Yes, and he was very good, too."
Shane: *chew, chew, stare at table*
Most antiquated flirting technique
Maggie, with the old note under the table routine. What is this, Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper in "The Wonder Years"? If so, where's that nerd, Paul? Haven't Maggie and Glenn heard about texting?
Dale to Glenn, after learning that Glenn and Maggie boffed: "What were you thinking?"
Glenn should have said, "I was thinking she was a hot-hot-hot farmers daughter!"
Those two beefy bruisers getting into it on the highway during the flashback at the beginning. It was a real Toughman Contest.
That new boy, Jimmy, who finally started talking, was like, "I need a gun so I can go out and shoot zombies" and Daryl goes: "Yeah, well people in hell want Slurpees."
Maggie, to Glenn after he tells her that he has 11 condoms left: "Yeah, you see 11 condoms, I see 11 minutes of my life I'm never getting back."
Missed opportunity for a great cameo
When Andrea is on guard duty and thinks she sees a zombie coming out of the woods, she starts yelling "Walker! Walker!" I was kind of hoping that Chuck Norris was going to start strolling up the hill to save everybody.
O.J. Simpson Award
Andrea (aka Annie Oakley, more like Annie JOKE-ly), shoots Daryl in the head, and nobody really seems to care too much. In fact, Dale goes so far as to encourage her. He's like, "Don't be too hard on yourself, we've all wanted to shoot Daryl." And they have a hearty laugh about it. Real nice, guys, real nice.
Shane and Lori's adulterous embrace at the beginning of the episode. Also, Carol gave Daryl a sweet little peck on the head. I bet it felt like an angel tickling him with stardust.
Speaking of tickling
When T-Dog says "Daryl almost died today for a doll," I couldn't help but think about all those poor folks who almost lost their lives in the great Tickle Me Elmo mania of 1996.
Recommended zombie film of the week
I'm going to go with the one with yellow eyes. Yellow eyes are always pretty scary.
Best zombie kill
I liked it when Daryl smashed the heck out of that one zombies face with a log after it tried to nibble on his tootsies while he was taking a nap.
Zombies: Two, slayed by Daryl during his vision quest, for a total of 32 on the season.
Humans: One, Otis. Sophia is still missing..
What did Jenner whisper to Rick (maybe that this whole thing was an elaborate "Scare Tactics" bit)? What has become of Merle Dixon, Sophia and the father-son team of Morgan and Duane Jones? What does Shane's 22 necklace mean? (Mystery solved! It said on "The Talking Dead" that it was his high school football number, as suspected.) Why does Hershel have all those zombies in the barn?
A look ahead to next week's episode
Some woman wheels a wheelbarrow toward the zombie holding pen (is she bringing them canned hams to eat?), curious Glenn interrogates Maggie about said barn, Hershel makes everyone feel unwelcome (what else is new?) and Shane and Andrea look at a dead body in a creek (maybe they'll jab at it with a stick).