The Walking Dead: “Triggerfinger” Review

The Walking Dead, some people say, has hit a bit of a rut in season 2. Up until the mid-season barn cliffhanger, there could be a reasonable argument made that TWD was beginning to flounder. Last episode’s slow beginning, with everyone wrapped up in their own grief for Sophia, was like watching molasses dry. But the ending, with Rick’s grim decision and Lori’s car crash, brought us some much-needed ratcheting.

“Triggerfinger” continued the tense momentum. The opening was, in typical TWD fashion, visually jarring. The orange hazard light—the only illumination within the car—flashing on the unconscious face of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) was excellent. Top that off with a slowly tilting camera, and you have what The Walking Dead loves to give: some of the best visuals in the business.

And when we later return to the scene, the sight of that walker sawing its face off while trying to get at Lori through the front windshield of that wrecked car… well, that was awwwwesome.

“Triggerfinger” was chock full of wince-inducing excellence; a lot of “losing face,” put it that way. This was one of the strongest episodes of the year, visually and in most other ways.

Let’s segue from that to a complaint about what birthed that situation in the first place: Lori’s stupid decision to go after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) by herself when he didn’t need going after in the first place. Or as many people like to call it, “Stupid Women Doing Stupid Things.” Now granted, I found little fault with her decisions in “Triggerfinger,” (more on her final scene in a bit) since this actual decision was made last episode. But this has to stop if she’s going to remain believable. Luckily for us, judging by the episode’s ending, it looks as though Lori has finally made a decision that wasn’t just based on some ill-conceived overreaction.

I do like a lot of the lucidity we got from Shane (Jon Bernthal); him pouring his heart out to Lori was, I think, a necessary scene for this story to move forward. It’s like she’s the only one he even tries to stay sane for. You have to know his relationship with Andrea (Laurie Holden) isn’t going to end well. As Lori said, Shane thinks they’re meant for one another. He’s full-on batsmack crazy.

And she finally gets it.

Which brings me to the final scene, Lori whispering in Rick’s ear. Holy MacBethian maneuvers, Batman! Yet another fantastically creepy shot, close up and intimate, just as it was meant to be.

People are going to jump even further onto the Lori Hate Train, but I see this for what it is: Lori is doing exactly what Rick did at the end of last episode when he shot those men dead. She’s doing something necessary.

My only hope is they don’t drag Shane and Rick’s inevitable “final” conversation (though whether “final” actually means final is anyone’s guess) past the season ender. This can’t go on as it is. Much as I love Bernthal… really, it can’t go on. And Lori is pushing that confrontation along.

(If I had my wish, AMC’s The Walking Dead would deviate even further from the comic book where Shane is concerned. But I can’t talk about that without getting too spoilery.)

Glenn (Steven Yeun) is a good kid, but sure as shootin’ doesn’t know how to deal with love. You could kind of see how his rejection of Maggie (the always-excellent Lauren Cohan) sparked the confrontation with her weakened father, Herschel (Scott Wilson). Be interesting to see if the television show Glenn & Maggie follow the same path as the comic book couple.

Something overlooked thus far this season has been Bear McCreery’s musical mastery. His score has been excellent; he seems to have a thousand ways to remain innocuous and in the background. You forget about him until something wrenching happens, and then you realize, in retrospect, he’s been deftly leading you to something all along. Bear McCreery is the Pied freaking Piper.

I liked the character depth we got to see in “Triggerfinger,” and I hope the character choices made in this episode will help speed The Walking Dead to a satisfying season 2 conclusion.

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