The Walking Dead

Season 2 Episode 13

Beside the Dying Fire

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 18, 2012 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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  • How to mix terrible writing with captivating characters: a TV conundrum

    I don't even know where to begin with this series. I watched the complete first and seconds seasons back to back over the course of a few days... and while I'm strangely addicted, and the character interactions are certainly interesting, this has to be the worst show I've ever seen in terms of effort and consistency. The creative team clearly do not pay attention to their own body of work; they structure convoluted scenarios which hinge upon a very specific, very detailed problem and that problem has so many holes in its foundation, it might as well be a tissue-thin slice of Swiss cheese. From their protagonists successfully hiding under cars (even though we've already established that zombies can smell living flesh in an entire episode devoted to this discovery) to deciding that the humane way to handle their infected colleague is not to kill him but to respect his request to be left on the side of the road (which, incidentally, means he will "change" and kill countless innocent people, thus continuing the spread of the illness and contribute to the end of all life on earth) simply because they don't want to kill an innocent man (but have no problem being accomplices to the slaughter of billions)... the biggest guffaw of all was the second season finale, in which the red truck carrying but a few or the survivors runs out of gas, so they all camp out in the street because they "can't all fit in one car" and must walk for gas in the morning. Well, of the two remaining (working) vehicles, one is an SUV; a Hyundai Tuscon. Yeah. A Tuscon. Not a Mini. If you're really so desperate to escape zombie hell, and you were just attacked by hundreds of them a few miles away -- do the math. Pile in. Two up front, three in back, with child on mother's lap, and the two smallest women in the trunk, which is designed for a bit of cargo. The remaining two survivors take the motorcycle, which we've already seen carrying two passengers quite frequently. So, you'll be a little cramped until you reach the next town and find another abandoned car to steal, of which we just saw thousands five minutes earlier, strewn about the highway. Suck it up. Better to squish for an hour than become a zombie buffet. Given the stakes, I'd be happy to ride on the roof. Oh, but that doesn't make for an interesting story conflict, does it? Try harder! These writers seem to be hoping for an audience that doesn't ask questions; that we don't have more brain capacity that the zombies they have schlepping around the forest. They play it off as if their critics are nit-pickers... but hey, when the entire concept of your series hinges on surviving the end of the human race, these strange pauses to eulogize a random zombie and read his donor card while a herd of brain-eating monsters are literally breaking through the already-cracking vestibule of the department store you're trapped in... yeah... guess what? A little tough to swallow. Maybe eulogize a different zombie when you can afford to take a dramatic beat. How about the police officer who decides that it's a good idea to let a band of survivors camp at the very edge of a forest, without any kind of lookout or warning like cans on a string? Really? The edge of a forest? A dark tree line seemed like a safe haven for children in tents when you might be the last handful of survivors and the rest of the world is coming to eat you? Who's that stupid? How are you surprised that they snuck up on you? Keep a proper series bible and keep track of your story. Establishing that zombies can smell human flesh in the beginning of the series, only to have your main characters hide behind a tree two feet away, is akin to saying that vampires will die if exposed to sunlight and then having them tan on a beach in Cabo two episodes later. These are the worst kind of writers, who write themselves into a corner and then hope to God we don't remember the last 45 minutes we saw last week. Or in my case, as long as it took to play the next episode. Food for thought. Pun intended.
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