|Hand cutting and Walker blood should not mix, guys|
Or more pointedly: when do you give up your humanity to simply survive? The Walking Dead is a master at creating this visceral expectations in the viewer and then the payoff is profound.
"I'm not the good guy anymore..." [Rick]
Rick and Shane have done a lot of "dancing around the issue" lately, but when we see Rick pull over a the crossroads ( profound imagery ahoy) to talk, we know it will be different. Because despite the fact that Rick clearly *knows* Shane is a clear and present threat, she still loved the guy like a brother. Also interesting to note, Shane even drags out the "brother" line for the first time this season.
Rick's trying to draw a line in the sand and still giving Shane yet another chance, but it'll take the catalyst with Randal to set the spark.
Rick is one of the most conflicted, complex leader-characters on TV today, and for good reason. Unlike Shane, he doesn't see things in the black and white of "live or die." He still wants to think through the major decisions, like whether or not they kill Randall to prevent him from letting his buddies know where the farm is, rather than simply shoot now and ask questions later.
And Rick being stuck in the "gray" area is likly to cause his leadership to be questioned very soon.
But then again, we saw Rick take the initiative with the smarmy members of Randal's group at the saloon. In that case, the threat was more clear, I think, where Randal's threat is set further down the road.
Kudos to the fight coordinator for choreographic a lovely, bloody, bare-fisted brawl between the to alpha dogs.
Zombies, zombies and more zombies...
We got a might influx of dead-heads in this episode and two of the best, more delightfully gory zombie kills this season to date.
Rick's "Keyston Cops" triple-layer zombie kill was epic, burying that mighty Python in the mouth of that big walker until you cold see the muzzle in the blowout in the back of the skull. And then running over that zombie's head like an old watermelon. Gross, but so very good!
One problem: Rick and Shane did a lot of hand-cutting in this ep and had direct contact with a lot of bleeding Walkers. Probably not a good combination.
"All the rest of us just stack up our loses..." [Andrea to Lori... and guess what, she's right]
I freely admit to not being as interested in the drama unfolding back at the farm. But there are still some good moral questions being asked. Do you let someone you care about make their own decisions about their life, or do you intervene. Whose side were you on, Andrea or Lori?
I can agree with Lori that they need to do what they can to make "the now" alright, but I also get Andrea too, that they can all share in all the duties of protecting and the cooking. Gender stereotypes are still alive and well in the apocalypse, but they don't have to be.
It was a nice juxtaposition of the visceral threat that Rick and Shane are facing to survive, and the more creeping desperation of the drama on the farm.
"If you want to kill me, you gotta do better than a wrench." [Rick]
It says something about the writing and the complete *energy* of this episode that, even though I knew differently, for a few seconds I actually thought Rick was going to leave him behind. It's easy to get caught up in the moment with the characters, which is what any good TV show strives to accomplish.
Shane may have taken what Rick tried to drill into him to heart, but at the same time, we still see the air of defiance and doubt in him.
The lone walker in the field:
I totally zoned out on Rick waxing on about winter and Lord of the Rings tapes because the image of that Walker stumbling across the field seemed prophetic.
Is it a symbol of the constant threat - even in the beauty and seeming safety of the countryside, the safe haven is still tainted? Or is it a image of the state of things now, that seeing a Walker in a field has become as normal as us driving past a cow in a pasture? I'm curious to see what the fans think of those two scenes because they felt like they could have so many meanings.
In all, this was a wonderfully deep episode fully of some bloody-good fun, the action and the character driven drama dueling it out with great results.
But I'll say now, I missed Daryl. Badly. Next week, I have theories about him becoming the self-appointed inquisitor for Randal.
Could Daryl's newly-found vicious protective streak be the "character change" that Carol can't get behind?
Is it next Sunday yet?
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