The Walking Dead continues its upward movement of constantly improving as the season progresses, with this episode centering around Shane’s character for the most part. To put it simply, he sees some shit and flirts with the dark side to save Carl’s life.
We last left our group in the same places they have been most of the season, divided either on the abandoned highway or holed up in the new farmhouse we were taken to last week. Shane was left in the most precarious of situations, with farmhouse newcomer Otis, at the local school surrounded by a horde of walkers. The episode opens with an obvious flash forward to Shane in the aftermath of the school with a shell shocked look on his face, and oh man does he have a story to tell; well, not tell, more on that later. Back at the farmhouse, Lori and Rick have some serious decisions to make, as Shane is obviously delayed, and the conversation they have over Carl’s fate is one of the best moments of the show yet. Lori weighing the pros and cons of her son’s survival is some dark, but on point, material for the show to get into, and Rick’s reaction makes the scene soar even further. The most shocking element of the moment is the fact that these words are coming out of Lori’s mouth.
Dr. Hershel is a bit player this week as the episode dedicates a little more time to Maggie as this week’s farmhouse spotlight character, giving her a decent amount of screen time as she makes a connection with Glenn (which certainly seems to be going somewhere romantically). The two have another odd discussion about God for the show, and while it is an interesting topic to breach, the characters can’t possibly still believe in God, right? In addition to this convo, the two have another nice moment later in the episode as Glenn consoles Maggie after a loss in the group, further cementing my conclusion that there is no way they don’t try and take these two somewhere; well, unless one of them gets eaten.
Back at the highway, Dale and Carol are left at the RV for some uninteresting dialogue as Daryl and Andrea get the best scene of the night (outside Shane’s moment), as they go for a late night stroll on the search for Sophia. The imagery and execution of the scene where the two come across a hanging walker, who got stuck in his predicament when he made the choice to kill himself after being bitten only to rise from the dead, was fantastic. Everything about the scene was perfect, from the humor to the bizarre nature of it all, and it goes down as one of the best moments the show has put out. Daryl continues his growth as a character here and is easily a top 3 character on the show now.
Now let’s get to Shane. Holy Shit. Otis and Shane pull every trick out of their hat to get out of that school, but are both left limping with little chance of escape in the home stretch. That is where Shane makes his big move and chooses to sacrifice Otis by shooting him in the leg, leaving him as a distracting snack for the horde of walkers behind them. Unbelievable. Shane is clearly affected by this sacrifice, but he did what he had to do for Carl and the results paid off as the youngster is now on the road to recovery. The man is certainly shaken by his experience though.
As the episode comes to its conclusion, there is still no Sophia.
-Dale and Andrea’s “beef” needs to end because it is easily the least compelling element of the show right now.
-Still need more Glenn, hopefully he and Maggie will give us some material.
-Carl has been shot and healed and Sophia is still lost, poor Sophia.
-With that said, Daryl is either going to find Sophia or shoot Zombie Sophia, both moments will be great.
-Rick and Lori have given us some great character drama, though I do miss Rick doing some zombie killing.
-How was Rick unable to stand up without wavering to being able to lift his kid and do a bunch of labor in no time? Hmmm?
And that about does it, I think we are going to find Sophia next week…