Dale: “But don’t you see that if we do this, the people that we were, the world that we knew, is dead. And this new world is ugly. It’s harsh. It’s survival of the fittest and that’s a world I don’t want to live in.”
My heart is broken. That’s a bit melodramatic for a television show but I’ve watched this episode three times and I’m still crying at the end of it. The voice of reason, care and civilization just got disemboweled by the new world order. I can’t believe that Shane is still there and Dale is now gone. I can only hope that this will mean that Dale’s voice gets taken up by others, or else this group is in big trouble.
A theme of the show has been the balance between survival and having a life that is worth surviving for. The life or death of Randall is one of those lynchpins that could push the group one way or the other. Dale’s point about survival of the fittest being the end of human civilization is correct. It is only when we work together that we create the things that make us human: art, literature, music, community. Will they try to remember who they were or will they just devolve into a tight xenophobic band that grows smaller and smaller as they inevitably lose people?
I’m not sure if Randall is a threat or not. Some of the men in his group are obviously not so nice, but he is just a kid. Why would he tell the story of the rape of the young women if he didn’t want them to know that he was different? On the other hand, he doesn’t freely share information until he is tortured--but would any of them talk about their group if they were captured? He does try to entice Carl with going back to his old group -- but is he just trying to save his life? If they wanted to make Randall part of their group, it certainly isn’t helpful to torture him and threaten to kill him on a regular basis. No easy answers. I guess that is the point.
It is clear, though, that Shane is a threat. Rick’s little “talk” with him obviously had no impact. He is considering a coup. It is clear that he thinks he is right and is the only one who can keep the group safe. Some people might define that as megalomania. He is squarely on the side of survival at all costs. I wonder if that is because he is young, male and a powder keg? He wasn’t all that tied to civilization before the apocalypse. He has the kind of tunnel vision that only a lack of experience can support. Dale had seen a lot of life and it sounded like some of it was pretty tough. He knows that there is more to life than just surviving. Shane is probably more likely to destroy the group than Randall.
One of the reasons to do more than survive is children, the continuance of the human race. Carl is central in the episode. I really wonder what is up with the adults in this group if a kid can wander off and play chicken with a zombie. Carl is obviously trying to figure out what the world has become. Like any child he is exploring, testing and trying out ways to be. What kind of world does his father want him to see and learn about? Rick certainly doesn’t want Carl to see him kill a man in cold blood, although Shane seems perfectly willing to kill Randall in front of him (and in a very ugly way). It chilled me when Carl told his dad to shoot. Is this what Rick wants for his son? As I’ve said before, I don’t think they should coddle Carl, but a basic sense of right and wrong might be useful.
“This group is broken.” Daryl to Dale and Dale back to Daryl after the decision to execute Randall is made. The group is a mess and winter is coming, not to mention the possibility of a raid by another group that is armed to the teeth. Discord in the group is more dangerous than anything else. They need to pull together and get their heads on straight. (And I don’t mean in the Shane way.) There is a way to protect yourself without losing your humanity. They need to plan together for their survival, organize themselves and think past the crises that keep hitting them. Rick has to stop agonizing over his capacity to lead and just lead. Securing the house and the supplies they need might bring the group back together. However, it might not make for such interesting television.
Bits and Pieces
Not quite sure what to make of Daryl in this episode. He seemed to be pretty good at torture but it was him, at the end, who helped Dale and spared Rick from shooting a group member.
Andrea was a civil rights lawyer.
I was so glad that Andrea stood with Dale. I was so hoping someone else would pipe up.
Hershel still doesn’t want to know. I like Hershel but that just seemed so cowardly.
Bit I loved -- Hershel giving Glenn his grandfather’s watch. It hurt my heart but in a good way.
Gooey bits I could have lived without -- the disemboweled cow and then the same fate for poor Dale. Would it really be that easy to rip someone open?
Daryl: “That boy there’s got a gang. Thirty men, they’ve got heavy artillery and they ain't looking to make friends. They roll through here, our boys are dead. And our women are going to wish they were.” Just to point out one more time that the women need to learn to defend themselves!
Andrea: “Who says we’re civilized anymore?”
Dale: “The world we know is gone. But keeping our humanity? That’s a choice.”
Shane: “You let your guard down out here, people die.”
Daryl: “The whole point of me coming up here is to get away from you people.”
Carol: “I lost my daughter. I didn’t lose my mind.”
Rick: “Don’t talk, think. It’s a good rule of thumb for life.”
Dale: “So the answer is to kill him to prevent a crime that he may never even attempt. If we do this, we’re saying there is no hope. Rule of law is dead. There is no civilization.”
Daryl: “Sorry, Brother.”