rating: 4If we can chalk up last weeks episode to a deliberate build-up to a simple action, I think we can easily call "Triggerfinger" a fairly suspenseful reaction. It's an episode that gets pretty close to what we all want the show to be, without the pitfalls they usually fall into. For one, there were a lot of zombies, which is always nice to see. Also, night episodes are so much better then day episodes. But the episode also lacked the glossy cliches that often dominate the series, and focused on propelling the story forward. If the series can pull of action-driven plots topped with a proper amount of character depth every week, we may just have a better series on our hands. "Triggerfinger" picks up exactly where "Nebraska" left off, in the wake of Lori's ridiculous car accident and Rick's dramatic shootout. The characters each try to make their way back to the farm. Glenn, Hershel and Rick run into some friends of the victims from last week, and Shane sets off to find Lori. The episode is pushed forward by the constant setbacks of what should be relatively easy escapes for both groups, pausing only to dive a little deeper into the groups more troubled members like Carol and Darryl or Shane and Andrea. And more importantly (and here's a wee bit of spoilers people) Lori finally spills the details of Shane's particular brand of crazy to Rick and convinces him that something must be done. We've all been waiting for the showdown between good and evil(ish), and I'm sorry to say that we haven't quite got there yet. Still, the episode has plenty of redeeming qualities to it, and stands pretty well on its own. Rick's ability to always make the right decision on the fly continues to amaze me, and I love to see Hershel show a little controlled rage when necessary. Then there's Glenn and Maggie's relationship which actually has me particularly intrigued. Not just because its got the Romeo and Juliet, new love edge, but also because Lauren Cohan can act the shit out of most of that cast. That is, of course, except for Norman Reedus who had to come to terms with his own sentimental loner mentality. Also, I kind of hate to say it, but I think one of the reasons the episode has gotten a little better is because Dale is being pushed further and further to the outside, and his paternal affection irritates me. But hey, maybe that's just me. Above all we got a good amount of suspense and a well played red herring all wrapped into one. While we were worrying about whether or not Rick, Lori, Hershel (and let's be honest, mostly Glenn) were going to be okay, and what they were going to do with this Randall guy, the writers pulled a quick sleight of hand and shifted gears to what's really going on. The inevitable and hopefully awesome clash of the titans: Shane and Rick. The tension has been there so long, practically for this entire season, that it has almost run dry but by changing focus only to return to the conflict later was a refreshing move. There's nothing like a little dramatic action (and a few terrifying zombies) to pique my interest. What I will say is that the show is still unfortunately dependent on sticking a sometimes forced catalyst into the end of every episode. That way the next episode can be all about dealing with whatever that was. In the case of "Nebraska" and "Triggerfinger" it actually works pretty well. But its kind of frustrating when they leave all of the major plot points that will continue to next week's episode to the last minute. How will Rick deal with Shane? What will become of Randall? Tune in next week to find out (gasp)! It might keep me coming back next week, but it also makes the series dependent on constantly escalating every little thing without stopping to develop a conflict for more then one episode. And sometimes it seems just plain lazy. But I am coming to the end of my review and I must say that overall I commend "Triggerfinger" for its dynamic acceleration and otherwise meaty dialogue. I, for one, feel like I can understand Hershel's inner disunion better when I get to see what he does when all bets are off and a life is at stake then when he recites a soliloquy on the death of hope. And it barely mattered what Daryl was screaming at Carol, it was the way he almost came down on her only to follow her advice at the last second that said it all. I'm not saying that every episode should be super intense and full of shootouts and blood, but keeping it lively and the conflicts alive is certainly a good start. Oh, and try to put zombies in the episodes (have I mentioned that?).