‘The Walking Dead’ reminds us of stranger danger

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returned with its mid-season premiere tonight and emphasized that old zombie story truism: Other surviving humans can be more dangerous than walkers.

A lot of people complained when the first half of the hit show’s second season spent so much time on Herschel’s farm. I enjoyed the dramatic and soap opera aspects of the season — Lori’s unplanned pregnancy, Shane’s descent into madness, Glenn’s budding romance with Herschel’s daughter — but I was getting pretty restless too.

And somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m giving the show only so long to get off that farm and back on the road.

Tonight’s episode, “Nebraska,” showed the fallout from the end of the first half of the season. The band of survivors discovered that Herschel’s barn was full of walkers. Some of them were his family members, as Herschel mistakenly believed they might be cured.

Most horribly, Sophia, the long-missing daughter of Carol, was one of the walkers in the barn.

Truth be told, there was still a little too much talk in tonight’s episode, as the survivors cleaned up after the zombie massacre and Rick and Glenn went off to the nearby town to find Herschel, busy crawling into a bottle in what’s apparently the last intact bar in Georgia.

Aside from the zombie burying and zombie burning, not a lot happened until near the end of the episode, when two strangers show up.

There’s been a lot of online speculation that the two might be important characters for the rest of the season, but that’s not the case. They might spark some movement among the survivors, however, and that’s good.

The preview for next week’s episode showed that Rick and company run into friends of the strangers they confronted at the end of tonight’s episode, while a walker gets a little to close to Lori, who had an unfortunate accident tonight.

I’ll be tuning in again next Sunday, hoping that the remaining five episodes of the season get the survivors on the road again — at least long enough to get to their next destination.

 

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