“We tried to kill each other man….Did you think we were going to forget about it all and ride off into the sunset together?” – Shane

Whew. I don’t know about you but I’ve got to catch my breath after that episode. I guess last week’s episode really was the calm before the storm. We got several great zombie kills, but as always The Walking Dead was at its best when the humans were providing the biggest threats. No threat has been more menacing to Rick and his family than Shane.

The episode starts off with the funeral of Dale, a character we cared far more about than tiny Sophia. Interspersed with the funeral scenes we get some sweet walker rampage killings featuring Shane, Andrea, Daryl, and T-Dogg. Believe it or not T-Dogg actually appears several times in this episode, and GASP! utters a few lines even. (Including what I thought was cool foreshadowing when he says, “Governor called…you’re off the hook.”) Andrea’s deadly use of a pitchfork was especially satisfying to watch. Rick tells the group that the best way to honor Dale would be to pull together…….sorry Rick but this group is pulling together about as well as Dale’s abdomen after being torn in two.

Several minor story lines occur in this episode that were obviously overshadowed by the shocking ending. For one, Herschel has gone from wanting the group to leave his farm… to inviting the entire circus into his house. Carl confides to Shane that he stole the gun and failed to kill the zombie that ripped Dale open. Shane convinces Rick to talk to Carl, where he gives the gun back to his son after a nice heart to heart. Apparently Glenn is attempting to singlehandedly kill the “Asians are really smart” stereotype, because he inexplicably refuses the beautiful farmer daughter’s invitation to bunk in her room. Glenn does fix Dale’s RV though, and he and Andrea have a nice conversation that seems to give the two some closure with regards to Dale’s death. Daryl seems to be coming back to the group. He shows support for Rick saying he “shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting”, and for the most part seems to be returning to the heroic walker assassin he was at the first of the season.

Then there’s Lori. If anyone is to blame more than Shane himself for his demise……..it’s Lori. She can’t leave well enough alone, so she pulls Shane aside to let him know that a) she is sorry for the pain she caused b) she has no idea whose baby she is carrying and c) she really wanted to thank him for saving their lives. Ummmmm you already did thank him Lori….surely you remember……it’s why you don’t know whose kid you are carrying. Way to go Lori! You just single handedly signed your husband’s death note OR you planted the seed to send Shane on a suicide mission.

Armed with newfound hope from Lori, Shane heads over to see Randall. We see that Shane is really going off the deep end, looking more like Jack Torrance from The Shining than the former cop we met back in season 1. He nearly kills Randall, but instead hatches an elaborate plan to end his feud with Rick once and for all. Shane brings Randall out to the woods and breaks his neck. He then channels his inner Tyler Durden and smashes his own face on a tree. Shane returns telling the others that Randall attacked him and has escaped. This prompts Rick to form a search party which inevitably ends up with him and Shane alone in the woods (just like Shane planned it).

The much anticipated Rick/Shane showdown did not disappoint. From the outset you got the feeling that Rick knew Shane was up to something. Once Rick pieces together the story, he and Shane are at a standoff under a full moon at night. Shane believes that Lori and Carl will be able to go back to their dysfunctional blended family just as soon as Rick is gone for good. You could see that Rick is quickly realizing that Shane can never be trusted again. Much like Shane claimed that Randall was too big of a threat to allow to live, he himself has become the biggest threat to Rick’s family. I honestly thought Rick was going to draw on him and gun him down like an old west showdown, but when he plunges the knife into Shane it was a much more personal kill that better satisfied the end of such an intertwined relationship. For those of you wondering how The Walking Dead survives without Shane….have no fear, the comics killed him off on like page 8 and have gone on to enjoy widespread success.

Like all things in the world of The Walking Dead, the answer to one question has only raised a much bigger one. Turns out that those two officers we saw who had turned without being bitten really were foreshadowing something bigger. After having his neck snapped by Shane, Randall turns and has to have his head split by Glenn in the woods (as far as we know he was never bitten by a zombie). Then in the climactic scene Carl (once again free from any adult supervision during the apocalypse) strolls up on Rick right after he has stabbed Shane. Carl has to put a bullet into zombie Shane’s head as he rises and sneaks toward Rick. I can only assume he said, “This one’s for my mom!”, or is it possible he dislikes her as much as the rest of us? Anyway, now we definitely have a disease that is somehow being transmitted other ways besides just bites from the infected. Maybe the whisper from the CDC actually had to do with THIS?

The episode ends with a wide shot of Rick and Carl, and you can see a fairly large horde of zombies closing in on them. I guess next week’s season finale will begin with a heavy dose of walker action. We also learned that Randall’s group of lowlifes is living only a few miles away. Perhaps a run in with them could end the season by setting up the Governor character, who has already been promised for season 3. No matter what I have a feeling that next week’s episode will continue the rapid pace, and end this season with a bang. What did you guys think? Are you glad to see Shane go?

***There was a lot in this episode that can be related to the graphic novels. I would ask that any comments try not to give away upcoming events from the source material for those that haven’t read it. Other than that…..let’s discuss!

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37 Comments

  • TyMo says:

    Since the series had departed so much from the comics part of me held out hope that Shane would find peace and a place among the group, but the realistic part of me knew that Shane’s time was short. I’m pretty upset that the writers chose to rob us the satisfaction of Carl saving Rick from a murderous Shane as I feel that it really advanced the father son relationship that, especially in the series, is obviously strained. Sure, Carl saved Rick from zombie Shane, but the writers felt it was necessary for Rick to think Carl was aiming his gun at him. Basically they did the exact opposite for Rick and Carl’s relationship as the comic did. Now there’s always going to be the memory in the back of Carl’s mind of the time his own father thought he was going to shoot him.

    And why would Shane lead Rick through the woods only to carry out his murder plot within plain sight of the farmhouse?

    I like that they’ve clearly introduced the idea that the virus is somehow present in everyone, but felt it was unnecessary for them to do it with both Shane and Randal. I’m pretty sure Glen and Darryl could’ve conveyed to everyone the seriousness of that situation without Rick having to see it first hand. He had, after all, already seen the two dead police officer zombies with no bites.

    Lori Grimes is the devil and is a bigger threat to the group than Shane could ever have been. She had to know that saying what she said to Shane would lead him to do something.

    Not sure where the hoard of walkers came from or why one gunshot would attract them anymore than all the hammering that Shane had done earlier in the day.

  • stephennaron says:

    The fact that they had their standoff so close to the farm was suspect I’ll admit. I did like how the show handled Shane though. With him sticking around longer and becoming more of a menace to Rick, it felt right that Rick plunged that knife into him in such a personal scene. Also, since it’s already ocurred on the show, I will say one thing in the comics that DIDN’T work for me was the Shane zombie ordeal. Sometimes I think the comics get treated like they are a perfect story, and while they are AWESOME…and a huge recommend, I think sometimes the show gets a chance to improve on the source. Rick leaving the group at such an inopportune time to go and “take care” of zombie Shane (a character we barely got to know as much in the comics) seemed like a terrible decision (and proved to be). In the case of the death (X2) of Shane, I actually preferred the show’s version on this one. Also, I thought it was a beautifully shot scene (minus the proximity of the farm).

    • TyMo says:

      I think the comic version of Zombie Shane allowed us to see how strongly Rick felt about him as a friend. Shane betrayed him and tried to kill him but, to me at least, Rick couldn’t allow his friend to remain a walker out of respect for their past friendship. As for timing…Rick Grimes of the comics has proven to be just as mistake prone, if not more so, than Rick on the series so nothing he does will ever surprise me.

  • TyMo says:

    Something else I forgot to mention…Shane must be the greatest shooting instructor of all time because he taught a ten year old how to bend his shot “Wanted” style. Rick was clearly in a direct line between Carl and Zombie Shane and Carl still managed to get a perfect headshot.

  • WOW!!!!..I wish I would’ve watched this sooner..but better late than never right??..I started laughing on the inside when the opening scene of zombie slaying was taking place. Especially when they all had a boot party on the fallen walker. Was I the only one with flashbacks of Office Space fax/copier machine scene with the Ghetto Boyz playing softly in the background??

    Not so sure Lori knew she was sending her husband or baby daddy to an early grave by apologizing to Shane. I also agree giving the snatch up is a VERY nice way to say thanks. So why say thank you again and of course in a much less enjoyable way? Go find a walker Lori and tango. I’m not saying she’s a slut, but if her vagina had a password, it would be “password”.

    Here’s my theory on the bite-less infection. FACT: the rancid odor of decomposing flesh is due to body fluid and blood breaking down and bacteria going airborne. FACT: I have smelled enough rotting humans to know that with all of the walkers (decomposing bodies) there has got to be a plethora of this blood borne bacteria and horrible stench in the air. THEORY: I think that those who are still living have inhaled enough of this bacteria that they too have become infected, however until death and the breaking down of the proteins and cells of the body occur the virus cannot take effect.

    Now obviously it seems Shane reanimated rather quickly, this could be due to constraints of allotted time for the show or the virus has continued to mutate.

    Yes the standoff between Rick and Shane seemed odd it would take place in front of the farm house. I think the director used the landscape and costume rather well for this scene. Subtly if you took notice Shane donned an entire black jacket which he hadn’t (to my knowledge) worn until this time. Rick still in his khaki which means “dirt” so to get khaki you start with white and put some dirt on it. Rick is the good guy but has to do the dirty deeds. These two characters went through the woods literally and figuratively and ended up in a clearing where it was all put on the table. Fitting both in scene and screenplay. Not to mention the relationship between the two had come full circle, just the search for Randall did. Bravo.

    So now what? I just hope the rest of them have leveled up enough to get the quick reload skill. Seems as though they will need it.

    **Sorry for the over analytical process of the shane-rick thing..too many years of literature studies i guess. I just get excited when great scenes such as that come together. Francis Bacon would be proud..or was it Shakespeare??

  • WOW!!!!..I wish I would’ve watched this sooner..but better late than never right??..I started laughing on the inside when the opening scene of zombie slaying was taking place. Especially when they all had a boot party on the fallen walker. Was I the only one with flashbacks of Office Space fax/copier machine scene with the Ghetto Boyz playing softly in the background??

    Not so sure Lori knew she was sending her husband or baby daddy to an early grave by apologizing to Shane. I also agree giving the snatch up is a VERY nice way to say thanks. So why say thank you again and of course in a much less enjoyable way? Go find a walker Lori and tango. I’m not saying she’s a slut, but if her vagina had a password, it would be “password”.

    Here’s my theory on the bite-less infection. FACT: the rancid odor of decomposing flesh is due to body fluid and blood breaking down and bacteria going airborne. FACT: I have smelled enough rotting humans to know that with all of the walkers (decomposing bodies) there has got to be a plethora of this blood borne bacteria and horrible stench in the air. THEORY: I think that those who are still living have inhaled enough of this bacteria that they too have become infected, however until death and the breaking down of the proteins and cells of the body occur the virus cannot take effect.

    Now obviously it seems Shane reanimated rather quickly, this could be due to constraints of allotted time for the show or the virus has continued to mutate.

    Yes the standoff between Rick and Shane seemed odd it would take place in front of the farm house. I think the director used the landscape and costume rather well for this scene. Subtly if you took notice Shane donned an entire black jacket which he hadn’t (to my knowledge) worn until this time. Rick still in his khaki which means “dirt” so to get khaki you start with white and put some dirt on it. Rick is the good guy but has to do the dirty deeds. These two characters went through the woods literally and figuratively and ended up in a clearing where it was all put on the table. Fitting both in scene and screenplay. Not to mention the relationship between the two had come full circle, just the search for Randall did. Bravo.

    I think a 1911 is way too much gun for a 11yr old. give him a .380 or .32 auto.

    So now what? I just hope the rest of them have leveled up enough to get the quick reload skill. Seems as though they will need it.

    **Sorry for the over analytical process of the shane-rick thing..too many years of literature studies i guess. I just get excited when great scenes such as that come together. Francis Bacon would be proud..or was it Shakespeare??

    • stephennaron says:

      Nice. B+ for the literary breakdown…..D- for posting it twice. Just kidding….I didn’t notice the black jacket, will look for that on my next viewing. Also your theory on the virus could make sense as well. Kind of doubt we get an explanation before season 3 though. Thanks for reading!

    • TyMo says:

      The gun Carl took from Darryl wasnt a 1911, though the slide and hammer do look similar to one it clearly has a double stacked magazine given the width of the grip. The bore also appears to be smaller than it would be on a 1911 chambered for .45 ACP. According to the Internet Movie Firearms Database it is a Browning BDA chambered for 9×19 which would be a lot easier for a kid Carl’s size to handle.

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