TV Review: The Walking Dead 2.8, "Nebraska" Mid-Season Premiere

After one of the most badass climaxes in recent memory The Walking Dead is back.

The Walking Dead Nebraska

rating: 3.5

We€™ve all been clamoring for it, but it€™s finally here. After one of the most badass climaxes in recent memory The Walking Dead is back. Unfortunately, €œNebraska€ suffers from the same problems it has had all season. The episode picks up right where it left off, though I can€™t say I didn€™t expect it. There was a lot set-up in the mid-season finale. (Spoilers). Rick still represents this angelic good, and Shane an ominous evil. Hershel is still crazy, he€™s just hiding it worse. Daryl€™s still a conflicted loner, Dale€™s still suspicious and Lori is still a complete idiot. The Walking Dead has always had a major problem with overindulgence in long monologues and explicit romantic idealism. The world is crumbling all around these characters, and rather then show it, they insist on spelling it out, one long conversation after another. Then again, everybody is talking about what the show could be, and all the reasons why it€™s not that. I have no problem with that kind of mentality; zombie fans are damn dedicated. But The Walking Dead is what we got, and I€™m a silver lining kind of guy. €œNebraska€ actually contained some worthy moments. The writers are finally letting Rick be a real person that may doubt himself every once in a while (shocker) and doesn€™t always know what he€™s doing. His fight with Lori shows some true anxiety even though he€™s completely in the wrong. I€™m also growing quite fond of the Glenn/Maggie side plot. It€™s a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise broken world. And rather then tell us that, the show is embracing their relationship and allowing it to unfold. In fact, it would be perfect if Rick didn€™t spell that out word for word in the car. And then of course, there€™s the cliffhanger at the end, which was fairly thrilling. In my head, I kept saying that Rick could take these two dudes down if he wanted to. But the rational part of my brain was telling me that there was no way he could do it, because he€™s not a murderer. In fact, he€™s not even all that great of a survivor. That€™s what has given his character some depth, and despite the fact that he can make the tough decisions, he is always trying to do the right thing. Even when that is not the realistic or feasible thing to do. But gun to his head (literally), his survival instinct will kick in and he€™ll do what has to be done. I love that Glenn didn€™t even move during the whole encounter at the end. Rick€™s morality ends when his life is in danger. Rick is always talking about how there€™s barely an hope left in the world. But up until the moment when he becomes a cold-blooded killer, I didn€™t actually believe it. Now I don€™t have a single doubt in my mind. Rick Grimes The Walking dead Then there€™s the other cliffhanger towards the end, Lori€™s massive car crash. Apart from that being absolutely terrible for her unborn baby, it€™s uncertain what has become of her. The quick cut to the gun lying on her passenger seat is a not-so-subtle hint that she is definitely alive, but who knows where she is or what is next for her. So what€™s my problem? And trust me, there was plenty wrong. €œNebraska€ was just a little too much more of the same. I'm getting a little sick of Shane's bravado. I get that his character, by his very nature, takes everything to its logical extreme, but he's literally hemorrhaging friends at this point, and that's just the kind of guy he is. Then in the next scene, he's trying to justify his guild by cleaning up Carol and feeling remorse over the death of Sophia. He's turning into a bit of an inconsistent mess and that makes him hard to relate to, even as a semi-antagonist. And there were at least a dozen explicit monologues throughout the episode. There were also zero zombies. In a zombie show. And for every great, action-driven instant that we get, we have to endure a slow and deliberate build-up. There€™s absolutely no spontaneity to the show whatsoever and sometimes it feels like it lacks heart. I want something more than 40 minutes of dialogue and 1 minute of awesome climax. I want that last minute to be expanded to the whole episode. But there I go again, talking about what the show can be. I guess I€™ll just keep watching, hoping like everybody else that it will eventually get there.

Jay is a pop culture addict. When he's not consuming aforementioned addiction, he can be seen sleeping. For some more insights and film news and recommendations you can follow him on Twitter @CriticalJayD Or you can add him on Google+