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19 October, 2012

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 9 "Triggerfinger"

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:

Season 1:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

Season 2:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8 

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.


Episode 9 opens with Lori unconscious after her car accident, awakening to the terrifying realization that there is at least one Walker attempting to get into the wreck to get to her.  She will soon manage to escape from the wreck and kill two Walkers nearby.  She is all alone and night has fallen.


Back at the bar in town, Rick has just killed the two hostile newcomers.  Hershel suggests that they should head back to the farm, but, just then, they are forced to hide as a car pulls up outside.  It is friends of the two men Rick has just killed, coming to locate them.

Meanwhile, back at the Greene farm, everyone is about to sit down to dinner when thy finally realize that Lori is missing.  After asking around, it's finally clear that Lori went into town to find Rick.   Shane goes after her and finds the wrecked car, but she is no longer there.  He soon locates her walking on the road, but she refuses to go back until they find Rick.  Shane lies to her and tells her that Rick is already back at the farm.  When they arrive there, she is understandably angry that he has lied to her again.  Shane says he'll go for Rick himself, but first he had to look after her and the baby, inadvertently telling Carl who didn't yet know his mother is pregnant.  If the baby turns out to be a girl, Carl wants to name her Sophia after his recently lost friend.

Back at the bar, Rick, Glenn, and Hershel don't want a fight.  Rick tries to talk to them men outside through the door, saying that he had no choice but to kill their friends because they drew on them.  It is no good, though, and they end-up having no choice but to fight their way out.

At the farm, Shane and Lori have it out again.  She confronts him about Otis, saying he hasn't been the same since that night.  He doesn't exactly come out and say she's right, but he does say that he did what he did because he loves her and Carl.  She tells him that she has admitted everything to Rick.  She makes it clear that she considers what happened between them to have been a mistake that only occurred because she thought her husband was dead, the world was falling apart, and she needed comfort.  For his part, Shane refuses to believe that what they had wasn't real.  It is becoming clear now that he had harbored feelings for her, even before TEOTWAWKI.  Also, we see more of Daryl pulling away from the group, including lashing-out at Carol over Sophia and her not having watched her more closely.

In town, Hershel covers Glenn as the younger man tries to make a run for their the car, but Glenn is quickly pinned down and freezes.  Hershel shoots one of their attackers and then the rest run from an approaching herd of Walkers that have been attracted by the shooting.  One of the attackers, however, has his leg impaled on a metal railing as he is attempting to jump from a rooftop, and he is promptly deserted by his own people.  Rick won't leave him, however.  Hershel suggests that maybe the most merciful thing would be to "put him down," but they decide on quickly amputating the leg instead.  The problem is that they run out of time even with Glenn doing everything he can to cover them, and Rick eventually has to just snatch the leg free from the metal, doing untold damage to the muscle but saving the young man's life.

Shane, Daryl, and Andrea are just mounting-up to go look for Rick and the others when they return to the farm on their own with the injured combatant from the other group, whose name we learn is Randall, blindfolded in the back.  Rick reiterates that he couldn't just leave him to be eaten alive by Walkers, but the group is not sure what to do with him now.  Rick says that once he has recovered, they can simply give him a canteen and send him on his way. Others, chief among them Shane, however, express worry that he will lead his friends back to them.  Hershel confronts Shane, saying that he wanted him gone but Rick talked him out of it, but that the farm is his and he basically tells Shane to close his mouth.

Meanwhile, Glenn is troubled over the fact that he froze during the firefight, because he was worried about Maggie hurting if he somehow got himself killed.  The others were counting on him, and he let them down.  Outside, Andrea agrees with Shane.  She advises him that he needs to develop a lighter touch, however, pointing out that he frequently makes the right calls, but pushes people away with the manner in which he tries to relate things.  Shane says that he should have left with her when he had the chance and points out that war and hurt are coming, yet they are the only ones who seem to be able to see it.

Later, in their tent, Lori tells Rick that Shane believes the baby is his and that he is dangerous.  He is in love with her and thinks that he and her are meant to be together.  Rick doesn't want to believe his old friend would ever be a threat to them, even after hearing that she and Dale believe he probably killed Otis.  He tells her that he killed two people himself, in order to get back to her, insinuating that whatever Shane might have done is understandable.  But then she asks him something along the lines of, "So you killed the living to protect what's yours?  Well, Shane thinks that I'm his and that the baby is his," and Rick can say nothing in reply, because he knows that she's right.

The stage is now set for a major confrontation between Rick and Shane.

Again with this episode, the important things to consider are philosophical issues.  I, for one, agree with Andrea that Shane is correct more often than not, but he has obviously begun to go over the deep end and become a real danger to everybody.  In the end, however, I think Rick would be a great leader if he became a little more like Shane, while still retaining those best parts of himself that make him the better man.  The sad truth is that nice guys don't make the best leaders, especially under dangerous circumstances.

The other issue we need to concentrate on is proper OPSEC.  Rick did so well in the previous episode, refusing to share the location and/or any details about the farm with those shady dudes in the bar and then taking care of business succinctly when the situation escalated; but, now, here he has dragged a member of that same group back to where his son and pregnant wife sleep at night.  I'm not saying he definitely did the wrong thing.  Saving Randall was definitely the Humanitarian thing to do.  Even in wars, most modern armies treat wounded combatants once they cease to be combatants, but rescuing and treating Randall does create a problem.  Luckily, he did, at least, have the good sense to blindfold him, but that doesn't solve everything; the direction taken on the road when leaving the bar, the surrounding hills and terrain, landmarks, etc. could all be used to locate the farm, perhaps not immediately, but within a few days of organized searching by a determined group, for sure.

Such are the issues all of us may one day be faced with.  Let's hope not, though.

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