The penultimate episode delivers an epic showdown and more strong character beats to lead us into a season-ending last stand.
With the end approaching its worth noting that one thing the second half of Season 2 has accomplished, likely due to the internal shenanigans, is building its characters into individuals worth caring about. Tonight I liked the scene between Glenn and Andrea; two characters who often don't get to interact much, but who clearly shared the greatest bond over the now absent Dale.
Other big improvements included the group's decision to move inside and fortify the farmhouse and their decision to go ahead with drop and dash plan with Randall. The one thing dramatic character deaths are good for is motivation. Lori's talk with Shane perplexed me a bit, but in the context of the whole episode it seems like it was certainly a set up for Shane's breakdown at the end. I also liked Carl’s scenes with Shane and Rick which showed how truly the survivors must leave behind the ways and laws of the old world. The culmination of having him be the one to execute zombie Shane was a fitting final nail in the transformation.
Obviously the biggest events in this episode came toward the end. My one problem with the episode was the decision to go wandering off in the woods (at night no less) looking for Randall, which seems totally illogical in light of their recent security crackdown. Randall, even by Rick’s own admission in the episode, is basically an undernourished, sniveling kid with a bum leg, who is unlikely to make it in the zombie filled swamps on his own (even with Shane’s favorite piece!). It also risked the lives of both Daryl and Glenn who are probably my two favorite characters, so I was a bit unhappy with that. Rick and Shane’s show down went on a bit long for me despite its significance. I could have done with one or two less minutes of Rick trying to convince Shane not to shoot him, when it was clear that was how things would end one way or another.
The transformation of Shane and Randall opens up a whole new chapter in the mythology of the zombie disease and how it spreads. I am at a loss on this one, especially since we haven’t seen zombie Dale wandering around. It would almost seem to be related to the morality of the characters (Shane was clearly crazy and Randall didn’t exactly seem to have the highest moral standards since he was living with a gang of rapists). On the other hand its clear that the virus still spreads via bites/scratches (Sophia presumably), so based on copious movie and television experience I’m gonna say its mutating possibly? Changing its characteristics to account for dwindling human population to feed off/transform? Either way I intrigued to hear what peoples thoughts are on it.
If I had to rate this episode I would give it a 93 out of 100
I didn’t quite like it as much as last weeks, but its hard to complain since the episode tied up a lot of loose ends and set things up well for the finale next week. It did pretty much everything a pre-finale episode should do and kept things moving quickly.
- So the Shane mouth-breathing was deliberate foreshadowing this week?
- Carl making that shot at the end was remarkable considering it looked like his hands were shaking the whole time
- Maggie; shot down again! Also, would have thought Glenn would have jumped at the chance not to sleep in the living room with T-Dog and Hershel.