Phasers Set to Stun

Season 2 Episode 8 “Nebraska”

The Episode

Stunned seems like the best word for where our group is right now. Dealing with the aftermath of the barn incident is difficult for most, almost deadly for some. There’s an overall sense that everyone is spent, tired and fed up. There’s a big pivotal moment during the episode that I want to talk about, but first I’d like to cover where everyone is at in 1-2 sentences.

Rick: Shane’s gotten into his head and doubting his decisions.

Carl: Figuring things out for himself. Admits that he would have killed Sophia if he found her as a walker.

empty road

Lori: Despairing over Carl’s admission above. In an effort to handle things on her own, she stupidly sneaks off in a car to go after Rick who has gone after Hershel and flips the car after hitting a walker because she needed to read a map?!?!?!? A moment that has immortalized Lori with fans as the worst person ever.

Shane: He’s fine, relentlessly still getting in everyone’s faces.

Hershel: All hope has been lost for him.

Maggie: Tells Glenn she loves him. Is it real or just panic over losing her family?

Glenn: Confused by Maggie…again.

Beth: In shock, literally. Her body has shut down on her and it could be life threatening.

Carol: Nothing left to live for and pulling up flowers in a field.

Daryl: Shut down. But delivers my absolute favorite line in a fight with Lori, “Listen to me Olive Oil.”

Dale: Continues to blame Shane for everything going on. Quietly launching a rebellion against him.

T-Dog: Tired of having to bury people and burn walkers.

Andrea: Seems ok, keeping her head on straight.

The major event of this episode centers around Hershel and Rick’s discussion at the bar in town which Hershel had snuck off to after the barn incident. Hershel is in a state of despair. Similar to Rick, he’s looking back at the decisions he’s made and feeling regretful over them. He feels foolish and embarrassed.

Bar stools

I empathize with Hershel and Rick at this time; it’s not a good feeling to see your best laid plans fail in front of you. Considering the consequences that are at stake for failure, it has to be extremely difficult to carry around that burden. A lot of people are depending on them with their lives. Hershel and Rick both know that and now it seems to be wearing on them. Seeing how these two characters are such good men at heart, it is sad to see them in a moment of dissatisfaction with themselves.

Although Rick is feeling similar regrets as Hershel right now, he does his best to convince him to return to the farm for Beth’s sake. However, they are interrupted by two travelers, Dave and Tony. It feels suspicious immediately. We all know by now that any stranger is pretty much your enemy until convinced otherwise. At this point, there’s nothing to do but chat. Rick and Hershel are wise not to give away too much. Dave and Tony bring news that Fort Benning has fallen. For me, the moment that said to me these two were not to be trusted was Tony peeing on the wall right in front of them. It’s a territorial move and I think Tony did it to come across as a tough guy. And why try to be a tough guy if everything is just friendly? Things go downhill when Rick and Hershel don’t want them to come to the farm.

Dave and Tony just might be the two guys that put the Rick and Hershel team into high gear. It’s a little hypocritical that Rick is now telling people they can’t come to the farm when he wouldn’t accept no from Hershel. But now Hershel seeing these two guys makes him appreciate Rick more. After Tony becomes angry about the situation, everyone gets a little trigger itchy. Rick is then forced to shoot them both.

Rick killing Dave and Tony is an important moment for Rick and the show. We have been watching Shane’s personal aftermath of killing another human being. He crossed the line and he hasn’t been the same since. Now Rick has taken the first step over that line as well. Of course, Rick’s crossing was somewhat justified, those two were about to fire on them. However, it’s a slippery slope. In the first season, Rick was the one to say that they weren’t going to kill the living. Now I guess the rule is we don’t kill the living unless we feel threatened. How long or how soon will it be before an amendment is made to the rule again?

In a final note, I’d like to step back to something Dave stated before he passed. Dave points out no one is innocent anymore. This is appropriate this day more than ever for our group. The barn incident was like a gigantic innocence breaker that the group is now coping with. Some have fallen to their knees, some have tried to become stronger, some are struggling in the middle and some seem to want to use it to their advantage. But it’s clear that this has been a defining day in these people’s lives that will mark them through their futures.

Best of the Episode

Tony dying in his piss corner. Nothing says karma like landing face first in your own piss. All he had to do was keep his cool a little longer and everything might have worked out. But instead we get a pretty bad ass moment for Rick shooting Dave in front of him and then Tony at the ready (or I guess maybe not) behind him. Quick shooting Rick is bad ass. And Tony is lying in his piss.

Lori’s car accident. This is the deciding moment where Lori goes from being somewhat ok to an absolute hell no for me. I mean c’mon Lori. I could go on for hours about this subject but I think that sums it up.

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