'The Walking Dead' midseason premiere shows the characters finding their focus
'The Walking Dead' moved slowly at the beginning of season 2, but the action seems to be heating up
Given the difficult circumstances The Walking Dead survivors found themselves in at the end of the midseason finale, the return episode -titled ‘Nebraska’ – really had no choice but to pick up immediately following Rick’s decision to shoot Sophia. That being the case, the majority of the episode works as a direct extension of ‘Pretty Much Dead Already’ – which, as expected, works out to be an exercise in guilt, grief and for some, the realization that believing in hope is tantamount to standing idly by.Skip to next paragraph
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Although there are plenty of lingering plot points and character threads the episode could have chosen to cover, ‘Nebraska’ steers clear of hurrying along the storyline for the sake of getting things moving, but the episode feels dutiful and filled with a purpose, nonetheless.
Now that the search for Sophia (Madison Lintz) is over, so too is the sense that there is something to wait for. So now, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Shane (Jon Bernthal) and the rest of The Walking Dead’s core survivors can busy themselves with the task at hand. Largely, that means cleaning up the walkers which had been stumbling around Hershel’s barn. But perhaps more importantly, it means beginning a period of mourning for not only Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride), but also Hershel and his daughters, who had been holding out belief their loved ones weren’t actually dead.
‘Nebraska’ balances the need to grieve with the call to action nicely – even though much of the action consists of digging graves and burning bodies. And while those tasks don’t necessarily get one’s heart pumping, they do fall into that bizarrely fascinating topic of unpleasant responsibilities the end of the world brings about. As Andrea (Laurie Holden), T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and Shane busy themselves, there is the feeling of forward progression that was lacking in the first half of the season.
But really, given the undercurrent of distrust and hostility between Rick and Shane, and Dale’s (Jeffrey DeMunn) increasing belief that Shane is a danger to everyone, the characters are likely grateful for the distraction. Moreover, since no time has passed between the events of the midseason finale and now, it’s a decent enough excuse to keep all the characters from standing around wondering: What do we do now?
There are a few characters given the opportunity to ponder what the next move will be, though, namely (and perhaps obviously) Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who have something to lose with the very real prospect of Glenn’s group leaving the farm. Maggie’s straightforwardness concerning the issue of Glenn remaining with her, as well as her admitting she has feelings for him works well against Glenn’s less assertive personality. Although the young couple’s moment is interrupted by Beth (Emily Kinney) falling ill, it does lead to a rather nice moment between Glenn and Rick that gives the group’s defacto leader yet another hat to wear – one suggesting Rick take the role of father figure for more than just Carl.