Monday, March 12, 2012

The Walking Dead Season Two, Episdoe Eleven: Better Angels

The episode opens with Dale's funeral where Rick says that Dale was honest and brave.  "I couldn't always read him but he could read us. He saw people for who they were.  He knew things about us the truth - who we really are.  In the end, he was talking about losing our humanity and he said this group was broken. From now on we are going to do it his way, that his how we honour Dale," Rick said in his eulogy of Dale. 

In flash scene, we see Andrea, Shane, T Dog and Darryl driving until they come across some zombies, and then they stop to kill them.

They decide it's time to move everyone into the house, saying that with winter coming they are too vulnerable. When Rick talks about releasing Randall again, Shane is upset, but Rick tells him that the plan was right, but the execution was wrong. Shane is clearly not at all mollified.

Alone  with Rick, Hershel says that he has no patience with Shane anymore.  When Andrea joins them, Rick asks her to keep an eye on things.  Hershel says that if he stays there permanently that Shane has to understand that what he and Rick says goes.  Andrea is upset about being asked to baby sit Shane, and tells Rick that maybe he should stop leaving.  Yeah, so now they have Andrea saying Lori's lines?  If she hadn't aligned herself with Shane to begin with, Rick never would have thought to ask

Carl approaches Shane and wants to talk, but asks him to promise not to tell his parents.  Shane says that this is a bad idea for both of them, but when Carl walks away, Shane calls him back.  Carl shows Shane the handgun he took from Darryl's motorcycle and admits the role that he played in Dale's death. Shane tells him that it is not his fault, and that he needs to hold onto the gun to protect himself.  Carl tells him that he is never touching another gun again, but Shane answers that this is not an option. Carl tells Shane to give it back to Darryl and walks away.

Glenn comes in the house and Maggie tells him to put his stuff in her room, but Glenn is not comfortable doing that with Hershel in the house.  So he can have sex with her in a pharmacy with the threat of death hanging over them, but Hershel being in the same house is too much?  Really?

Hershel gives up the bed to Lori, and says that he will take the couch rather than seeing a pregnant Lori sleeping on the floor.  When Lori says that she can't because this is Hershel's home, Hershel tells her that it is their home as well. When Lori attempts to refuse, T-dog says "if you two can't decide, I'll take it".  Great, they can't give T Dog anything serious to do but move shit around, but hey, he can play the role of comic relief.

When Hershel and T-dog go inside,  Laurie see Shane fixing the windmill.   They chat about life before the zombies and Laurie asks him to come down. Laurie says, "this is real and we can't keep at bay; it's already got us and it just keeps coming.  I made a mess of things, and I put you and Rick at odds. I don't even know whose baby this is.  I can't imagine how hard that is on you.  You lead us out of Atlanta with no thought of yourself. " She tells him that she never thanked him for getting them out of Atlanta.  "Even though things got confused between us, you were there for me, thank you".  Shane says that he she doesn't need to thank him for that.  Lori says, "what ever happened between us, I'm sorry Shane. Please believe me I am so sorry".

Okay, what the fuck was that? No, seriously, what the fuck was that?  Did she suddenly forget that Shane tried to rape her?  What woman decides to thank her rapist?  I am sick and tired of the way that The Walking Dead has chosen to treat the attempted rape like it never happened.  We are only encouraged to see Shane as bad because, he killed Otis.  What's a little attempted rape right?  This is just one more sign that the writers don't take their female characters seriously.  

Darryl and Rick stand on the porch plotting where to dump Randall.  When Rick asks him about killing Dale, Darryl says, "Ain't no reason you should do all of the heavy lifting".  It's clear at this point that Darryl is being set up to be Rick's number two.  I don't like the way this is heading because Tyreese has been cast and if he ends up playing third to Darryl and Rick, I don't hold much hope for strong characters of colour on this show.   

When Shane pulls up, Darryl leaves and Shane tells Rick about Carl's run in with the walker.  When Rick tells him that he will have Laurie talk to him, Shane says, "I think he needs his father".  Then Shane suggests that he ride out with Darryl to dump Randall, so Rick can talk to Carl.  Rick turns him down, and Shane puts the gun down in front of Rick and says that dealing with Randall is more important than dealing with his son. As much as I despise Shane, that was a brilliant guilt trip. 

Andrea is having trouble with the camper, and Glenn tells her that he will check it out.  As Glenn fixes the truck, Andrea clearly has a heavy heart. Glenn says that he let Dale down, but Andrea assures him that he was proud of him and that she believes that he knew how much they cared for him.  Glenn wipes his tears, and says that should do it.  Andrea tosses him the keys, and they go into the camper. They place Dale's hat on the dashboard between them and drive towards the farm.  It's interesting watching Andrea get all sentimental now, when she treated Dale as though he didn't matter throughout much of the show. She was angry at him for not allowing her to commit suicide and dismissed all of his warnings about Shane until the very end. She didn't value him. Andrea saw him as a controlling, over dramatic old man.

Inside the barn, Rick finds Carl.  Rick hands Carl back the gun and says that what happened to Dale had nothing to do with him.  He tells Carl, "I wish you could have the childhood that I had, but that's not going to happen. People are going to die, I am going to die, mom, and there's no way that you can ever be ready for it. The best that we can do now is avoid it as long as we can, and stay one step ahead.  I'm tired son, please take it," and Carl accepts the gun from his father. With that, I think that they have brought and end to Carl's childhood.  This scene gives us a real sense of what life must be like for Carl and exactly how much he has lost.

In the barn, Randall has been working to loosen his handcuffs. He stops moving when he hears someone come in.  Shane grabs a chair and sits down and stares at him.  He slaps himself repeatedly in the head and then gets up and holds a gun to Randall's head. Clearly, Shane has completely lost it. When he sees Randall's raw wrists, he thrust shim back against the wall.

T Dog hands Darryl a gun, and then goes to release Darryl from the barn -- only to find that he is already gone.   What he does not know, is that Shane has dragged Randall out into the woods.  Shane asks Randall where his group is, and tells him that he is the only chance of him surviving.  Shane asks Randall to take him to his group, and that he is done with his group. Randall is shocked that Shane does not want to kill him, and tells him that he will fit in well.  Off camera, we hear Randall stumble and scream. It's clear that Shane has killed him.  Shane bumps into a tree to make it appear as though he has been injured.

Back at the farm, they gather and see that Randall is missing.  Shane is watching from the woods with a gun in his hand.  He hides the gun in the leaves, and then calls for Rick.  He yells that he is fine and that Randall has his gun. Rick, Dale, Glenn and Darryl go into the woods. Darryl is suspicious of the idea that Randall got the jump on Shane, considering the weight difference between the two men. Shane immediately gets defensive.

In the woods, Darryl tells Glen that it's pointless and Darryl moves back to the beginning to start tracking Randall again.  He notices that there are two sets of tracks, and says that Shane must have followed Randall a lot longer than he said.  He finds blood on the tree, and says that the tracks look like they are walking in tandem.  When Darryl finds the blindfold on the ground, Darryl and Glenn hide behind a tree, when they hear a sound.   It turns out it's Randall, who has become a walker.  After a scuffle, Glenn puts a knife through his head. It was nice to see Glenn make the kill because he has seen himself as ineffectual recently.

As they are walking in the woods, Rick asks again about Randall finding his gun, and clearly there is some doubt to what he has been told.  Looking at Randall's body, Darryl discovers that he had his neck broken and that he has no bites.  Glenn asks how this is possible. It seems at this point that the show is taking a page from the comics, by making everyone who dies turn into a zombie, regardless of how they die.

Heading back towards the farm,  Rick questions how Randall got Shane with a rock, and points out that the door was shut when T Dog walked up to the barn.  Shane says that he must have slipped through the rafters in the roof.  Rick holsters his gun, and asks if this is where he planned to do it and tells him to have the balls to call it what it is - murder.  Rick asks if Shane believes that the rest of the group is going to buy whatever bullshit story that he cooks up? Shane responds that "it won't be easy, but Lori and Carl will get over him." Rick asks, "why, why now? I thought we worked this all out?" Shane puts his gun away and taunts Rick to shoot him, saying that he is a better man than him. "You got a broken woman, and a weak boy, and you ain't got the first clue in how to fix it," Shane says.  Rick grabs his gun and points it to the ground.  Rick says, "listen to me Shane, there is a way back from this, and we are going to lay down our guns, and we are going to walk back to the farm together. Back to Laurie and back to Carl".  He approaches Shane slowly with his gun faced downward, and then Rick moves quickly and slips a knife into his chest. He cries, "Damn you for making me do this.  This was you and not me."

I don't know about you, but I was screaming it's about freaking time.  I know longer have to write the words Shane, who should be dead every time I write a review.  I will however say that having Lori thank him before killing him off, worked to redeem him as a character.  It also made it seem as though had she kept her mouth shut, that he wouldn't have acted to kill Rick that evening.

Carl walks out in the woods and finds Rick on top of dead Shane.  Carl is holding a gun, and he points the gun. Rick things he is pointing it at him, but instead it's Shane who has turned into a walker. As Rick begs Carl to put the gun down saying that it's not what it seems, Carl fires, shooting Shane who is now gloriously dead in the head.  In the woods, walkers hear the shots and start moving towards the farm.

Once again, this was another episode that was problematic in terms of the female characters.  I also didn't like or agree with the suddenly sentimental Andrea, who at times looked more like she was smirking than experiencing real sadness. The writers did manage to give T Dog a line or two, though he is still just a pointless side character, on par with she who has taken to her bed (read: Beth).  I think the final episode next week is going to be really intense and I am super excited to see how they cap off the season.