While watching the survivors on AMC's "The Walking Dead" hole up in Hatlands — the local party headquarters — in recent episodes, I often thought to myself: "Man, I would love to get after it in that bar! It's just missing one thing..."
Well, in Sunday night's installment (entitled "Triggerfinger") my wish was fulfilled. While dealing with a few hostiles who are swooping in to play wingmen for the already murdered barcrawlers from last week's episode — Dave and Tony — Glenn looks for the bar's backdoor (always a valuable piece of information) and brushes up against a 1980's stand-up arcade cabinet.
This bar already had stools, fermented beverages, a place to rest your elbows, a flat screen TV, a dart board and now video games!? Throw in a deep frier, juke box and Megatouch machine with erotic content unlocked and I see no reason why they would ever want to return to the farm.
(Note: I'm in hot pursuit of the identity of that arcade game, but if you think you've got it let me know. It had a steer skull and a pair of six shooters, but I don't think it was "Gun.Smoke" Update! Upon closer inspection, the game is called "Shoot Up" I couldn't find this game on the International Arcade Museum web site, so I'm guessing it was just a mock-up. This game looks pretty radical though.)
But I digress.
The episode itself was very good. I thought that the standoff at the bar would last a little longer, maybe even extending out over a few episodes. But after Hershel coldly gunned down the young man in the sweet Sambas, leaving him to weap and moan before having his face bitten off by z-boys, and new character Randall auditioned for "Tosh.0"by leaping from his crow's nest onto a spiky fence, our banditos made a surprisingly smooth exit from their Mexican standoff. (Whatever a Mexican standoff really is I don't care so much, so save your breath all of you Quentin Tarantino fanatics.)
I liked when the faceless searchers approached Hatlands and said "We're looking for Dave and Tony and no one checked the damn bar?" That reinforced what I learned in the last episode: Dave and Tony were just a couple of blokes from Philly who liked to work hard and play hard.
Many folks might have been very concerned about the plight of pregger Lori, who went speeding off in a very modest town car in last week's episode and wrecked it pretty bad after running down a pedestrian. But I knew she'd be OK, and that's just what happened. It was neat when a geek woke her up by trying to eat her head through the broken window, and his cheek started to tear off because he was shoving his face through jagged safety glass. That reminds me of when I'm really hungry and I open up my box of Royal Farms fried chicken. I think I would probably rub up against abrasive things to get to my meal at that point, too. I'm glad that last time I ate RoFo chicken someone didn't tear off a turn signal lever and jab it through my eyeball though, because that's what Lori did to this guy.
(P.S. I'm no lackey for Royal Farms. In fact, it disgusts me that they charge $1.69 for an Arizona Iced Tea tall boy that costs .99 cents everywhere else in town. I just enjoy their fried chicken.)
Considering how the episode started, with mad amounts of danger (Hershel, Glenn and Rick stuck in the bar, Lori in dire need of Triple A), things got cozy again pretty quickly. Everyone from town made it back to the farm safe, with prisoner of war Randall in tow, and Shane rescued Lori by jetting off in a very nifty Hyundai midsize SUV.
If you ask me, though, this episode was one big set up for much more static down the line.
Only a fool would believe that we've heard the last of the boys from Philly. Shane's rescue mission of Lori indicates that he'll go to great lengths to protect what he considers his property. And Daryl is starting to exhibit behavior that would warrant a one-on-one chat with the school guidance counselor.
Yessah! I think that covers it for the recap, and now I can start doing dumb stream of consciousness jokes!
All right, Lori. You already totaled a perfectly sensible family station wagon (strike one) but then you leave the turn signal on when you're just laying there not doing anything? I also hate when people don't use a turn single when they are turning. That really grinds my gears!
I'll bet Steve punched the clock more than once or twice on Friday and strolled over to Hatlands for a few pops. There's a likely lad!
Glenn's hat was ruined when Maggie smashed up a raw egg in it. Even though Tony was a douche bag, Glenn could have taken his paperboy hat to wear from now on. It would have looked like he was an enemy in "Boondock Saints", and the other survivors could have teased him about it: "Hey Glenn: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! You look like a dingus!"
To the zombie who pulled Lori's hair. Hey Z-Boy, only mean boys pull girls' hair.
You're not Triple-A
Lori gets out of the car and some walker is standing there all "Mehh" and Lori is like, "Hey, you're not Triple A!" and bashes his dumb face with her sick Sprewell spinner rim.
Good Housekeeping good manners award
Shane says "Thank'ee" at dinner and Patricia reminds him "No cussing in the house." Hey, just because civilization has gone to pot doesn't mean we can't still be civil.
Tales of sex
When Carol went down to Daryl's outpost to talk some sense into him, he acted all annoyed. But they seemed really, really close to French kissing. If they went into his tent, though, Daryl would have had to clear out a bunch of hunting magazines and cans of Mellow Yello.
When Shane is looking for Lori, you hear all these frogs and crickets like "skeet-skeet-skeet." And it's the show's way of saying "Hey man, this world has gone to hell. You thought your Zoomba and Smart car and Pinterest were such a big deal? Well these frogs and crickets just keep eating flies and making rhythmic noises, whether you're sitting on your couch watching "The New Adventures of Old Christine" or fighting for your life, baby, they just don't care!"
Hershel is a rootin' tootin' sharpshootin' cowboy. When Rick harangues him for skipping the gun training, Hershel is like "Dude, I can shoot, you can even ask my mom, I just don't like to."
While pitching woo at Lori, trying to explain why they should be together, Shane sums up his argument with the title of one of the greatest Euro-Dance anthems of all time:
We can only hope that in next week's episode, a character has an opportunity to fault precipitation for something.
Last week they played a Clutch song over the end credits and that was pretty neat. This week a storm was a brewin', metaphorically and literally, and it would have been the perfect opportunity to play a little "Floods" by Pantera!
If it works in video games...
When Rick ducks out of the bar, he's holding a pistol in his right hand and a shotgun in his left. It's like he did a cheat in Goldeneye, and if anyone attacks him from either side, they're done for.
Did you know?
The little town has bus service apparently! It reminds me of the town that Sidney Poitier got stuck in in "In The Heat of the Night." (Three "Ins" in a row FTW.)
Maggie came back from college, Beth (who is still in a paranormal trance) found her birth control pills and threw them in the duck pond, Hershel was like "Wha?" Maggie was like "We were going for a swim." then some horse kicked mud all over their dresses. Great story, can you tell it again (Burn!)
Daryl, when asked about Lori's whereabouts: "That dumb bitch must have gone looking for them."
Daryl, sarcastically, to Carol: "Ain't you a peach!"
Daryl, genuinely, to Carol: "If you spent half your time minding your daughter's business instead of sticking your nose in everybody else's she'd still be alive!"
Daryl, to Carol: "You're afraid because you all alone!"
Shane, to Lori: "What happened with Otis happened because I love you, I love Carl."
Shane, discussing what to do with the injured and blindfolded Randall: "I'm gonna go get him flowers and candy! Look at this, folks, we back in fantasy land!"
Hershel, to Shane: "Do us both a favor, keep your mouth shut." (Snap!)
Lori, regarding Shane: "He won't listen to me, he's delusional and he's dangerous."
Lori: "You killed the living to protect what's yours?" Rick: "That's right." Lori: "Shane think's I'm his. He thinks the baby is his. And he says you can't protect us, that you're gonna get us killed. He's dangerous, Rick, and he won't stop."
Carl: "Big brother Carl, pretty cool, huh?" Shane: "I'd say that's very cool." #weird
Rick: Is like, "Oh yeah? Shane wants to take what's mine? Bring it..."
Lori: Is like, "Hey Rick, here's what Shane is trying to do. What are you going to do about it?"
Carl: Isn't scared of anything and is excited that he's going to get a little sister and he wants to name her Sophia. :o)
Shane: Has gone a little too long without getting a bunch of attention, is scared of Rick's increasing aggressiveness, and might have to do something wild soon.
Andrea: Is solidifying her pact with Shane. They'll probably have some sex again soon.
Dale: Is nagging everyone about Shane and neglecting his eyebrows.
Glenn: Almost got shot and now he's really spooked, like do I really want to have someone else rely on me, or would it be better if I was just a lone wolf?
Daryl: Really acting out like a middle child. He comes into the farm house at one point and gives everyone a too-cool look like "Sup?"
Carol: The more Daryl acts out, the more Carol sees him as her new child. The child that she might French kiss!
T-Dog: Completely marginalized. Hasn't done anything of note in about six episodes.
Hershel: Impressed by Rick's actions in Hatlands, and loosened up a little after a few pulls off of the bottle.
Maggie: Reminiscing about her old man when things were normal on the farm. May have bewildered Glenn a bit when she said the magic words.
The one who shoved its face through the broken window, even as its skin started to peel away!
Best zombie kill
Gotta go with Lori's turn signal lever through the eye, just for the creative choice of weapon.
Zombies: Gosh it was tough to keep count with all of the shooting going on and the ambiguous violence, but by my count it was seven (five by the boys in the bar and two by Lori) for a total of 67 on the season. Humans: One. Sean with his cool Adidas, shot by Glenn and then eaten up by zombos.
Where is Dave and Tony's camp? Are those other survivors mounting an attack on the farm? What did Jenner whisper to Rick? What has become of Merle Dixon and the father-son team of Morgan and Duane Jones? What is love?
A look ahead to the next episode, "18 Miles Out"
They argue a lot and Shane and Rick might come to blows over what to do with Randall. Shane gets beat up and Rick hides under a zombie.