|Season 2, Episode 8|
|Air Date|| February 12, 2012|
AMC (United States)
February 17, 2012
Fox (United Kingdom)
|Written By||Evan T. Reilly|
|Directed By||Clark Johnson|
|U.S. Viewers||8.10 million|
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"Pretty Much Dead Already"
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| Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes|
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
| Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier|
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Madison Lintz as Sophia Peletier
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Michael Raymond James as Dave
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
Emotions run high in the aftermath of the barn walker massacre. Beth Greene hurries over to her mother, Annette, to mourn, but she was still alive and attacks Beth. Andrea drives a scythe through the zombified Annette's head to end the struggle.
As the Greene family walks back to the house, Shane accuses Hershel of knowing Sophia's whereabouts, but Hershel denies knowing that she was in the barn, speculating that Otis had likely put her there before he died, and angrily orders Rick's group to leave the farm. Rick ridicules Shane for his actions, but Shane mocks Rick's failed diplomacy with Hershel, and criticizes his decision to continue the search for Sophia.
The survivors decide to bury Sophia, Hershel's wife, his step-son and burn the rest of the bodies. Rick seems to be questioning his own leadership capabilities, admitting to Lori his frustration that he had everyone searching for Sophia when she had died long ago.
Tensions worsen between Shane and Dale. Carol refuses to attend Sophia's funeral, which angers Daryl. Hershel packs his wife's possessions in cardboard boxes, and digs out an old flask from his wardrobe, searching for the means to cope with the reality that there is no cure and he had been hanging onto a fool's hope.
After the funeral, Andrea and T-Dog pile corpses into Otis's truck, saying that Shane did what needed to be done. Dale protests, suggesting that a new problem with Hershel was created in the wake of resolving the safety concern of the barn walkers.
Maggie asks Glenn if he would stay if the rest of his group were to leave, but Glenn is unsure on how to answer. Beth suddenly grows ill and collapses. She suffers from a fever and other serious symptoms, and seems to be in some state of shock. The group looks for Hershel to care for Beth, but discover that he has vanished, leaving behind his empty flask as a clue. Rick decides to look for Hershel at the local bar, and takes Glenn as backup.
Shane is washing up at a water pump when Carol emerges from the forest, muddy and scratched. Shane cleans her cuts and apologizes for what had happened to Sophia. Meanwhile, Dale reveals to Lori that he believes Shane shot Otis and left him as bait to cover his escape, and that it's only a matter of time before he kills someone else.
En route to town, Glenn confides to Rick that Maggie told him that she loved him. Rick says that they need more good things like that in their lives, and that he should embrace those moments.
Beth's condition creates concern, prompting Lori to send someone to search for Rick and Hershel. Daryl is the best choice, but he is still upset over the sacrifices he made in vain to collect Sophia, and snaps, "I'm done lookin' for people." Lori decides to look for Rick herself, but crashes her car after unexpectedly hitting a walker in the middle of the road.
At a bar, Rick discovers Hershel and tells him about Beth. Hershel reflects that he had robbed his daughters of a normal grieving process by giving them a false hope, and allowed himself to believe it too. Hershel also says that Rick must relate, saying he saw the same feeling wash over Rick's face when Sophia emerged from the barn that there is no hope. Rick argues that nothing has really changed, and people are counting on them to be strong.
They are interrupted when the bar door opens and two strange men walk in, giving their names as Dave and Tony. The five men converse cordially at first, but the strangers become impatient when Rick's group will not divulge information about the Greene farm.
"We can't stay out there," Dave says. "What do you suggest we do?"
"I dunno...I hear Nebraska's nice," Rick replies.
Dave reaches for his gun on the bar, but Rick quickly draws and shoots Dave in the head. Rick then quickly pivots, planting two bullets in Tony's chest before he can train his gun on Rick. Rick then finishes him with a bullet in the head.
- Jane McNeill as Patricia
- James Allen McCune as Jimmy
- Aaron Munoz as Tony
- Amber Chaney as Annette Greene (Credited as "Hershel's Walker Wife")
- Travis Charpentier as Shawn Greene
- Tony Gowell as Arnold Greene
- Jewel Wilson as Josephine Greene (Photograph)
- Amanda Dyar as Walker
- Ashton Lee Woolen as Walker
- Triston Johnson as Walker
"Nebraska" was originally broadcast on February 12, 2012 in the United States on AMC. Upon airing, the episode garnered 8.10 million viewers and a 4.2 rating in the 18–49 demographic, making it the most-viewed episode of the series thus far. Following two encore presentations, total viewership accumulated to 10.1 million. The episode attained 5.4 million viewers in the 18–49 demographic, while subsequently obtaining 4.4 million viewers in the 25–54 demographic; this makes "Nebraska" the highest-rated basic cable telecast in history demographically up until the airing of the second season finale, "Beside the Dying Fire". The accolade was previously held by the second season premiere, "What Lies Ahead", which received 4.8 million spectators amongst adults in the 18–49 demographic and 4.2 million viewers in the 25–54 demographic."Nebraska" became the highest-rated basic cable program of the day, as well as the most-watched basic cable telecast of the week dated February 12.Ratings and total viewership increased significantly from the previous installment, "Pretty Much Dead Already", which garnered 6.62 million viewers and a 3.5 ratings amongst key adults between 18 and 49.
"Nebraska" debuted in 122 countries worldwide in 35 languages. In the United Kingdom, the episode garnered 737,200 viewers thus making it the most-viewed television program of the week on FX. "Nebraska" attracted a 3.05 rating in the 18–49 demographic, translating to 558,400 viewers. It subsequently becoming the highest-rated telecast on pay television. Similarly, "Nebraska" achieved the highest demographic ratings out of any pay television program in Spain and Italy, where it attained a 3.93 rating (193,080 viewers) and a 3.26 rating (215,264) in the 18–49 demographic, respectively. In Spain, the episode received 330,000 viewers and aired simultaneously with an episode of Castle, ultimately outperforming it by 78%. In Italy, it obtained 328,180 spectators, denoting a 19% increase from "What Lies Ahead". "Nebraska" performed well demographically in several Latin American countries. In Chile, the episode garnered a 0.78 in the 18–49 demographic, thereby becoming the highest-rated telecast on pay television there. It outperformed its timeslot in that respective demographic by 136%. Similarly, "Nebraska" outperformed the timeslot average by 24% in Argentina, ultimately attaining a 0.88 rating amongst adults in the 18–49 group. In Mexico and Colombia, the episode obtained a 2.19 rating and a 1.07 rating in the 18–49 demographic, respectively.
"Nebraska" was widely lauded by television commentators. Alex Strachan of the Ottawa Citizen felt that the episode was very poignant, adding that various scenes were "beautifully acted". In his A– review, Verne Gay of Newsday opined that "Nebraska" accurately established the progression of a dark atmosphere for the second half of the season. Rawlings asserted that the episode gives the audience "plenty to chew on", and that it nicely sets up a foundation for future storylines. The A.V. Club's Zack Halden evoked similar sentiments; "'Nebraska' doesn’t entirely rectify this concern, but it’s a solid hour of television, and a promising indication of where the series is headed." Writing for IGN, Eric Goldman commended the installment's sense of direction; "I liked how this episode thrust us right back into it, and the understandable misery everyone was going through. [...] It was a mixture of chaos, sadness and zombie killing—a mixture this show can do very well." Concluding his review, Goldman issued "Nebraska" an eight out of ten, signifying a "great" rating. The Atlantic's Scott Meslow iterated: "'Nebraska' largely spends its first two acts reiterating things that happened earlier in the season, which in this case can somewhat be forgiven [...]. But just when it looks as though the series will devote another episode to wheel-spinning, "Nebraska" surprises with a final act that serves as a reminder of why it's too soon to give up on The Walking Dead." Morgan Jeffrey of Digital Spy noted that it successfully addressed the concerns of fans about the episodic pace, while also raising expectations for succeeding installments. Not all reviewers were enthusiastic about the episode as the general consensus. Boston Herald journalist Mark Perigard affirmed that "Nebraska" was inferior to its predecessor, ultimately giving it a C+ grade. Starlee Kine of New York wrote that it was "just one huge whirlpool of pointless drama, pulling everything in its path under with it", while Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich thought that it was a setback from the previous episode.
Commentators criticized the character development of Lori Grimes. Goldman was angry upon viewing the crash sequence, avouching that it stunted any development intended for the scene. He stated, "The Walking Dead really needs to work on strengthening its female characters, and it doesn't help when Lori has a major accident for such a stupid reason, getting distracted as she looked at a map while she drove. Yeah, yeah, there was a zombie in the road, but it could have been an animal [...] just as easily, and it really undercut the intended drama of her situation when it just seems so stupid that it happened at all." Halden thought that the foundation set up for furthering storyline progression was contrived, while Aaron Rutkoff of The Wall Street Journal said that the premise of the dilemma made no sense. Jeffery was much more optimistic about the scene, ultimately evaluating it as a "jaw-dropping moment".
Critics adulated the character development of Rick Grimes, as well as the concluding scene of "Nebraska". Kine appreciated the attempt to incorporate a suspenseful feeling in the series. She wrote: "Mazzara wants to infuse some horror movie suspense back into the show and his intentions are evident in this scene. Even though I personally didn’t find it that tense, I appreciated the effort. It means that the show is trying to expand and become about something bigger." Los Angeles Times' Gina McIntyre felt that Rick emulated Justified character Raylan Givens, and Halden commented that Rick was becoming "something of a badass". Halden further praised the conclusion of the episode, calling it the series' best scenes. "This is one of the best scenes I’ve seen on the show so far, and it does any number of things that The Walking Dead has struggled with in the past," he opined. "The tension builds naturally [...], the dialogue has actual subtext, and there’s a clear sense of risk here that never pauses to telegraph itself." Meslow affirmed that the scene was an achievement for the writers. "There are characters with new information [...]," Meslow commented. "There is dialogue with subtext [...]. There is intriguing parallel plotting [...]. And there's the surprisingly swift, violent dénouement, when Rick guns down Dave and Tony before they can do the same to him. It's a necessary action, given the circumstances, but it also rings in an honest-to-god character change for our hero, who, having dispatched zombie Sophia, seems to have developed a new recognition of the ruthlessness and self-centeredness it may take to survive in this new world order." HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall appreciated James' performance, and opined that the scene was "as suspenseful as any the show has ever done featuring actual monsters".
Jeffrey complimented Bernthal's performance, while Josh Wigler of MTV celebrated his scene with DeMunn. Wigler summated: "Jon Bernthal and Jeffrey DeMunn are very likely the finest actors on The Walking Dead, and their increasingly tense interactions have been a highlight in recent episodes. 'Nebraska' was no exception, with Shane giving Dale an earful about 'Barnageddon' and why he did what he had to do."
- First appearance of Dave.
- First appearance of Tony.
- Last appearance of Annette Greene. (Zombified)
- Last appearance of Sophia Peletier. (Corpse)
- Last appearance of Shawn Greene. (Corpse)
- Last appearance of Arnold Greene. (Corpse)
- This is the first episode made entirely under the leadership of Glen Mazzara, who replaced his former boss and Walking Dead creator, Frank Darabont, as showrunner after Darabont was fired the previous summer.
- Time Magazine wrote: "Intentional or not, the show’s title alludes to one of pop culture’s strongest references to Nebraska, the 1982 album by Bruce Springsteen. In the title track, the Boss tells a first-person narrative of Charles Starkweather, who went on a rampage, killing 11 people in 1958. The song’s narrator sees humanity plagued by existential doom, which may be catching up with Rick and the gang." Robert Kirkman stated, "Evan Reilly [who] wrote [Nebraska is] a huge Springsteen fan."
- The term that Dave and Tony called the walkers is "Lamebrains" (Chupacerebros). This episode marks the introduction of the third name for the zombies in the series.
- The name of the episode, "Nebraska," refers to the fact that Dave and Tony said they were heading to Nebraska due to the fact that it has a low population and plenty of guns.
- It also refers to Rick's smart comeback, "I don't know...I hear Nebraska's nice," which initiated Dave and Tony's failed attack.
- The song played at the end of the episode is called, "Regulator" by Clutch.
- Sophia's body at the beginning is in a different position than the previous episode.
- Rick's hands are on his pistol or at his sides in the bar, except when you see him in the mirror, when they are folded across his chest.
- After Maggie slaps Shane, a boom microphone and a huge light reflector are briefly reflected in the Greenes' front door when she opens it.
- ↑ Boris Kachka, The Showrunner Transcript: The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara Opens Up on Darabont’s Departure and Reworking the Series, Vulture, (February 8, 2012).
- ↑ Nate Rawlings, The Walking Dead Watch: Nebraska, Time, (February 13, 2012).
- ↑ Clark Collis, 'Walking Dead' writer Robert Kirkman talks about 'Nebraska' and previews the rest of the season: 'Things just keep getting worse from here', Entertainment Weekly, (February 12, 2012).
- Darren Franich, 'The Walking Dead' recap: Guy Walks into a Bar, Entertainment Weekly, (February 13, 2012).
- Travis Woods, The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 8: Nebraska – TV Review, Screen Crave. Gives the episode a 7/10 rating.
|Episodes of The Walking Dead|
|Season 1||"Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"|
|Season 2||"What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"|
|Season 3||"Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"|
|Season 4||"30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"|
|Season 5||"No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof"|