The Walking Dead - Secrets

That whole Thanksgiving thing, and the days leading up to it delayed this post. The good news is that "Secrets" isn't a new low-point for The Walking Dead this year. And the bad news is just more of the same stuff that is the bad news each week. "Secrets" plays up Shane's character-dichotomy, gives Glenn a chance to look like less of goon after last week, forces us to tolerate more Lori-centric melodrama, and offers heaping spoonfuls of Dale. It's big failing comes from Daryl's near-complete absence, he is healing, but no one checks back with him after the initial 5 minutes. Oh and the opener, before the titles, was great, as one of the farmhouse survivors breaks chicken's legs by hand, stuffs those little squawkers in a sack, and then dumps that sack into the zombie barn. It's a pity that nothing cool came of the barn... Of course, it will, I'm sure... due to some disastrous asshole move perpetrated by an uneven Shane, but for now we just have to be content knowing that the barn is holding the "sick" in Hershel's opinion. He and Maggie don't consider them monsters, they call them "wife" and "mom" and "brother." Still, the opener was shot so well, with such a focus on the horror elements of film and great pacing, and NOT TALKING ALL THE TIME, that it was too bad we didn't get to explore that line further... or, hell, that show. Now to the characters:

Shane: First, he's helping everyone learn to shoot, looking like a bit of a leader and getting the gratitude he'll need to hang around despite all of the moral compromises he's made. He and Andrea even go out to look for "Sophia" (I'm putting quotes around her name because at this point she's more like a myth.) and after Shane uses a bit of the tough-guy tough-love to get her shooting zombies with accuracy, and they don't, of course, find "Sophia," Andrea cups Shane's manhood in the car... and they presumably have frustrated, slightly amoral, pseudo-adolescent, post-gun-firing, action movie romance sex. But, earlier, Shane shows an interest in Carl again, and he seems to be back on the reservation... until Dale confronts him and things get very threaten-y. Shane is still the wild card. And since his pride leads him to snap quickly to anger at Dale, it seems entirely possible that he'll start killing barn zombies or let them out just to be a dick. As long as he can take Andrea with him.

Glenn: He finally knows that Maggie actually digs him. He gets the most brutal zombie kill of the episode. And he also tells Dale about both the barn (which Maggie is angry about for about 10 minutes) and Lori's pregnancy. Glenn turns out to be someone we used to call "Switzerland" back in high school. "Switzerland" is the person who listens to a lot of people, offers non-biased advice, and stays out of the situations for the most part. This is Glenn now. He doesn't want no trouble. So, after Glenn gets Lori's abortion pills, he also grabs some prenatal vitamins to give her a VERY CLEAR to the audience CHOICE. Not bad for Glenn though, he's kinda dumb, but more considerate and more like the glue for the group that he was in Season One.

Lori: She's still pregnant. And how can someone raise a baby in this here world of undead creatures? So she decides to abort the child with a handful of morning after pills. Then she immediately vomits up the pills. And since her decision takes up about 7 minutes of the show, she and Rick talk it out. And she's upset. And he's upset she lied. And then they seem to decide to keep the baby. And Rick seems, almost too well, to understand that she was with Shane. But there's a lot of crying. And a lot of brooding. And well, it's Lori. She's over the top. And this is the tip-top for over the top.

Dale: Is the catalyst. He talks to Hershel and gets us an unfulfilling narrative scoop. He gets Lori to admit she's pregnant, after already knowing via Glenn, by telling a story about his wife's meat aversion following her pregnancy. And he confronts Shane for being a complex, likely dangerous dickhead. He even brings Otis back up. Dale has guts, that's for sure. It's an exciting thing. Because without Daryl, this episode was almost without a leading man.

Other people do stuff too, but who cares... "Secrets" was just what it says it was, an episode with lots of secrets. New ones and old ones. Reveals and new burials. But, at least it didn't have a twist ending this time.

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