The Walking Dead: 207 “Pretty Much Dead Already” Review
Wow…what a great mid-season finale for The Walking Dead. What better place to start this review than right at the end of the episode, Sofia ‘walking’ out of that barn was a real shock and gave us a horrific reality check for this post-apocalyptic world. The whole episode had been building up to this showdown between the group and their undead neighbours, but thankfully there were few hints to Sofia being one of the barn’s residents. The climax was well shot and Jon Bernthal did a fantastic job here filling the scene with intensity and anger.
The sight of Rick & Hershel with two new walkers for the collection really kicked things off and brought about the confrontation we had been waiting for. Although, when the executions began I was surprised to see no reference to Hershel’s family being shot. As the scene flicked between the falling zombies and the group, there was no hint on Hershel’s face as to who his wife or stepson were. I guess this was done for one of two reasons, either it served as a red herring for Sofia’s reveal, as many would have thought that the final walker would have been his wife (this would have provided an opportunity for Hershel to face up to reality and shoot her – echoes of the pilot episode), or there was simply too much chaos going on to fit this in. Whatever the case any reference would have been a nice touch.
With this being the final episode before the Christmas break it’s given us some great closure to things that have happened on the farm so far and It raises a lot of questions that will need to be addressed in the New Year. Firstly, someone in Hershel’s group must have put Sofia in that barn; given the timeline in which Daryl was looking for her, it’s very doubtful Otis would have done this so therefore someone still on the farm must know.
Also, will the group split given the latest developments? Shane Vs Rick is a divide that is beginning to take shape, it seems Andrea and probably Daryl will side with Shane, while Glenn, Lori, Karl & Dale will stay with Rick. As for Carol, her state of mind following the death of her daughter, not too long after her husband, will be an interesting one. She could go either way or even just kill herself. As for T-Dog…who knows, poor guy all he’s done this season is cut his arm, it feels like the writers inherited a sick puppy from season 1 and they can’t decide whether to make him part of the family or take him out back and put a bullet between his eyes. One thing’s for sure though they need to do something with him.
The opening for this episode with Glenn telling the group about the walkers in the barn really lit the fuse and needed to happen to get things on the farm moving forward. But for me, I think this would’ve been the perfect ending to last week’s episode and would’ve really built up the anticipation for “Pretty Much Dead Already”. That being said, it was good to see this episode get straight to business without any more hesitations. My only gripe with this opening was Maggie’s pathetic ‘egg in the hat’ reaction, after getting attacked by a walker last week and Glenn saving her life, it just felt stupid and out of place. Glenn’s reference to Portal was a brilliant touch and it’s good to see he’s been thinking about his place within the group.
All in all, this was the perfect way to end the season’s first half. The Sofia storyline had to be resolved so things could move on and I was really impressed with the way the show did this. Fans of the comics will be familiar with the dark places this story and these characters can go to, it’s refreshing to see a TV show that brings to life rather than watering it down with happy endings and unrealistic story telling like so many other adaptations.
Where will the show head to next year is uncertain at this point, I think what’s important is that the group (or groups?) get moving again, there’s a whole world of zombie infested environments that they can explore. This first part of the series has been very successful. The writers have gone back to basics and concentrated on character development rather than cheap thrills and corny storylines like parts of the first season.
With the next half back in February 2012 it won’t be too long a wait, “Pretty Much Dead Already” has left us plenty to think about over the festive season and Sofia’s undead appearance was a very sad yet entertaining Christmas present for us all.
Scene of the episode – What else could it be? The Sofia reveal was truly dark and horrific, it shows just what the show is about and the stark reality of the world these characters are living in.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.