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The Walking Dead: "Eighteeen Miles Out" (Season 2, Episode 10)

Good episode: focused, violent and poignant. It’s a simple story well told.

We open with one of my least favorite framing devices, though, the flash forward showing us where we’ll be later in the story. That device is generally a crutch for weak plotting. When it isn’t, as in this case, it’s also generally not needed. So I’ll pretend it isn’t there.

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Alcatraz: "The Worst Thing I've Seen This Year" (Season 1, Episode 7)

Just kidding. The title is “Johnny McKee.” It’s still really bad, though.

There’s lazy, and then there’s hackwork, and then there’s bad, and then there’s just giggle works bad. It’s rare, however, to see them all in one episode, an intricate tapestry of the dull and the absurd. So I guess that’s an achievement.

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The Walking Dead: "Triggerfinger" (Season 2, Episode 9)

Blood and gore galore. So get those vomit bags out for the tender of heart.

At the end of last week’s episode, Rick had just gunned down two strangers in a bar. Lori, meanwhile, had crashed her car after hitting a walker.

We pick up exactly there. Rick, Glen and Hershel are preparing to leave the bar when a car pulls up outside. Voices sound. They’re the voices of people looking for Dave and Tony, who are unfortunately quite dead. So Rick and company are stuck hiding in the bar.

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Alcatraz: "Paxton Petty" (Season 1, Episode 6)

Another round with the show that has more mysteries than you can shake a stick at, but nary a solution in sight. If you read last week’s review, you know the show finally took a step up. This week? A slight step back. We’ve returned to the criminal of the week motif, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the worst examples of that pattern.

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