TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 10 – 18 Miles Out

Shane and Rick drive out from the farm to drop Randall off. While on the road, Rick confronts Shane about his behaviour and beliefs. Meanwhile, back at the farm, Beth decides that she has had enough of waiting to die, and takes matters into her own times.

Just last week it seemed that The Walking Dead had slowed to a crawl, and the drama was now between the people and the Walkers were no longer the biggest threat to survival. Well the same still holds this week, but we finally get to see some confrontations and some Walker action.

Rick finally calls Shane on all of his crazy behaviour, yes Lori gave the idea to him, Lady Macbeth style, but this was a long time coming anyway. Rick reminds Shane whose wife and son he has been coveting, and orders him to calm down; “Lori says you are dangerous but you’re not going to be dangerous. Not to us, not to me, not any more”. Good for you, Rick, but this comes back to haunt him later in the episode.

They find a drop off point for Randall, but he finally admits that he went to school with Maggie – which means that he knows where the farm is – and Shane’s immediate response is to shoot him. This leads to a physical fight between Rick and Shane, and the Walkers show up for good measure.

The fight between Rick and Shane has been coming for a long time, the two have been passive aggressively at one another’s throats ever since the start of this season – if not longer – and something had to give. Shane obviously took exception at being told what to do, and Rick needs to remind his former best friend of what he stands to lose. The fight is therapeutic for the characters, and also for the audience who have been waiting for this anger to finally boil over, and for Shane to either flip out of stand down. Well, we finally get to see him do both, and not before time. The fight between the two is reminiscent of kids fighting in the schoolyard until Shane smashes a window and the Walkers come crawling out.

Rick is soon faced with a choice, help Shane or save himself. He has already admitted that he is not the good guy any more, so the audience is never quite sure what is going to happen and what Rick’s choice will mean for the rest of the group.

While all of this is going on, Beth takes a knife from Lori and questions her reasons for staying alive. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing; Andrea and Lori finally clash over their ideas of staying alive. Lori appears to be the one who wants to live, but since her brush with suicide, Andrea is more than happy to just survive. This argument has also been a long time coming, but it is far more civilised than the crawl between Rick and Shane. Beth finally gets to cut her wrists, but doesn’t cut deep enough to die, meaning that she has made her decision. Maggie sees Andrea as the one who enabled her to do hurt herself and bars her from the house. Women can be worse than men sometimes; at least they just fight it out!

This is exactly the episode of The Walking Dead that we needed this far into the season. The action was beginning to lag, and it was becoming a drama about confinement rather than a fight for survival. This is the first time in a long time that we have had music throughout the episode, and an explosive opening with the Walkers. The pace was great, as was the tension and drama. Problems may have been resolved, but it is fairly clear that there are more on the way. The Walking Dead is at its best when it focuses on just a few of the characters and throws in some Walkers to stir things up. This is exactly why this week’s episode was so darn good.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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One comment

  1. The thing that really annoyed me was Rick & Shane’s tactic of cutting themselves to attract walkers – this is monumentally stupid of the characters and very dumb writing.
    1. Attracting walkers doesn’t really seem to be a problem
    2. causing deliberate injury to yourself – especially impairing your hands – isn’t smart
    3. its doubly un-smart to cut yourself with an unsterilised blade in a world where finding antibiotics is a serious issue
    4. its trebley un-smart to cut yourself with an unsterilised blade that you’ve previously plunged into the rotting flesh and corpsified brain-matter of a zombie
    5. and its quadrupaly, unfathomably un-smart to create an open wound on your hands when you’re inevitably about to be elbow deep in blood and zombie-juice when you know bites and even scratches from walkers are deadly.

    Jeez… this stuff is Zombie Survival 101

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