The Walking Dead: 18 Miles Out

Shane: “Rick, you can’t expect to be the good guy and live, not anymore.”
Rick: “I’m not the good guy anymore.”

This episode was for all those people who thought there weren’t enough zombies. The opening of this episode was terrifying. I almost thought it had to be a dream sequence, because it sure looked like two of our lead characters were going to bite it (pun intended).

While the episode was action-packed and also quite philosophical, there was a little bit too much testosterone for my liking. Why exactly do men have to beat the crap out of each other to resolve situations? And Lori’s little speech about the good women of the farm creating stability while waiting for their men, doing what they got to do, almost made me gag. Beth wants to kill herself because they only have her dad and Jimmy to protect them? Why the hell can’t she protect herself? Maybe then she would feel less helpless. I would like to see more development of the women characters and their relationships. The confrontation between Andrea and Lori was a start.

That said, this was an interesting episode because it finally did bring the showdown between Rick and Shane that everyone knew was coming. It was a nice plot twist that Shane’s life ended up depending on the very fact that Rick can’t (or won’t) kill easily. Rick may regret saving Shane, but he would have most certainly regretted leaving him to the zombies. Rick may not be the good guy anymore, but he still believes that surviving is not the only variable in the equation. You have to be able to live with your decisions. Shane acts like he can, but I’m not sure that’s true. I think being able to talk to Rick about Otis was important for him: Rick intimating that he would do the same thing was also important, even if a big part of Shane doesn’t believe him. Does Rick have to become a macho jerk to survive and protect his family? That seemed to be the conclusion here.

The fight between Shane and Rick was just plain stupid. The chatter on the web about stupid things that the women have been doing pales in comparison to two of the “defenders” of the group going at each other to the extent that they both almost died. Rick has done his alpha bit on Shane; he beat him up, saved his life and told him how it was going to be, claiming his “territory” in the process. I’m not sure Shane is cowed or will accept that he doesn’t love Lori (what a stupid thing to expect), but he is well aware that it is difficult to survive alone. I think that Rick, Lori and Carl are his family and probably were before the apocalypse. Shane may put out a loner vibe but, as he says, it was Carl and Lori that kept him alive. I hope he does come back to the group. The shot of him looking at himself in the broken window pane just before the zombies emerged showed him what he is becoming and I don’t think he liked what he saw.

Beth’s contemplation and attempt at suicide really spoke to the hopelessness that would be reasonable in this situation. It’s important to remember that the opening of the barn was Beth’s first real exposure to the reality outside the farm. The other characters have each had to wrestle with hopelessness in their own way and come out the other side. I agreed with Andrea, that Beth had to find her own way through. On the other hand, it is easy to say such a thing when it isn’t your sister who wants to kill herself. I hope, now that Beth has decided to live, she also learns how to defend herself. And conversely, wouldn’t it be nice to see some men lightening the obvious load that the women are dealing with.

Bits and Pieces

The sheriff and deputy didn’t have any bites on them. Rick said there were scratches. Do they need to be more careful with all the zombie blood flying around?

I haven’t said much about Randall, but that’s because he is almost an afterthought in this episode. I kind of hope they give him a chance.

I’m not sure about the symbolism of the lone walker making his way across the field. Maybe someone could help me out with that.

What do you think Shane would have done if he had hit and seriously injured or killed Rick with the wrench?

Quotes

Shane: “One shot to the leg, Carl lives. Reality is, he had no business being here, or there, doesn’t matter.” I seem to remember that Otis saved Shane during that episode.

Rick: “That wasn’t weakness. It took everything.”

Lori: “Tell him to man up and pull himself together. Just don’t say 'man up.' It never goes well.”

Lori: “I wish I could promise that it will be alright in the end. I can’t. But we can make now alright and we have to.”

Randall: “One guy? One guy can’t make it alone.”

Rick: “Stop acting like you know the way ahead, like you know the rules. There are no rules, man. We’re lost.”

Beth: “What’s he going to do? Kill me for committing suicide?"

Lori: “The men can handle this on their own, they don’t need your help.”

Andrea: “Everything falls apart and you're in my face over skipping laundry?”

Andrea: “The pain doesn’t go away. You just make room for it.”

Rick: “It can’t be that easy killing someone killing anyone, you know that.”

Rick: “That is my wife, that is my son, that is my child.”

Rick to Shane: “It’s time for you to come back.”

11 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

"I’m not sure about the symbolism of the lone walker making his way across the field. Maybe someone could help me out with that."

Oh, me! Me!

Shane saw the lone walker twice, and saw himself in that sad lonely zombie. He was wondering if it would be possible to survive alone, and possibly even envying the walker his aloneness.

It contrasts with Rick staring at the two bodies of the deputies and being reminded that he and Shane used to be partners in that particular cop way.

I thought the women's chat in the kitchen was fascinating. I kept expecting Lori to use the term "menfolk" without irony. The gender dynamics on this show are so very weird; I'm definitely on Team Andrea in that discussion.

"I’m not sure Shane is cowed or will accept that he doesn’t love Lori (what a stupid thing to expect)."

Amen to that, DrNanaMom! Hopefully he can give up hope even if he doesn't give up love.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't checked it out, there is a talk show called "The Talking Dead" that airs at Midnight EST, after the walking dead. It is funny, informative, and often has cast guest stars.

HellBlazerRaiser said...

The best parts of the episode were the zombie attacks.  

The whole plot with the suicidal blonde (yes, that's an INXS reference  – I'm a product of the 80s) was absurd, since the blonde has barely spoken since the Grimes gang got to the farm.  Why should we care that she was suicidal?

Marita Covarrubias was awesome, though and I do agree with how she handled the suicidal blonde.

Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal are two of THE worst actors I've watched on show in a llooonnnnggggg time. Even in the quiet scenes, they overact. They're awful.  Bloody buggery awful!!!

The show has deviated enough from the comics that I think a massive deviation should be written:

Kill off Rick and Shane. Move Andrea and Lori into the leads.  

Jump ahead 3 or 4 years.

SORAS Karl to a teen; Lori's baby to a toddler; Carol's twins with Daryl (YES!!!  Daryl and Carol should be a couple.) toddlers.

Start Season 3 in the Prison, with Michonne joining in the season premier.

Morph T-Dog into Tyrese.

Bring back the Latino family from the first couple of episodes.

Make Merle the Governor's Lieutenant Governor.

Go from there.

natedagreat said...

Great review.. Loved this episode with a passion.. It really reminded of the Angel episode "Destiny" with Shane and Rick beating each other like Spike and Angel did.. For me this show is unreal.. Thanks for explaining the symbolism about the zombie josie because i didn't get it either lol..

MischievousNinja said...

I thought it was another great episode. I didn't hate the first half of the season like other people did, but I'm certainly glad for the change of pace.

With regards to the 2 dead guys without bite marks, my my guess is that they starved to death and then came back as walkers, meaning that everyone has the virus. I dunno if that's in-line with the comics, but that's how it looked to me, especially with all the empty cans laying around.

Also Rick and Shane both sliced their hands open with the same knives they used to kill the walkers with. Doesn't strike me as a very smart thing to do.

tricksterson said...

One scene you didn't mention that really brought out the contrast between Rick and Shane to me was on the drive up when Rick was talking about ways to make it through the winter (Is winter really that bad in Georgia? Never mind) while Shane is responding, when he responds at all, in grunts It struck me that he had no response both because he doesn't expect to be alive by then and because he's just not capable of thinking beyond the immediate. Rick, on the other hand, has hope and is capable of thinking of ways to make that hope real. Which is why, even though Shane may seem the strongersurvivor and protector in the short term, Rick is the safer bet long term.

Patryk said...

I think the virus being in everyone and that zombie bites are just dangerous because they infect with regular old bactreria that kill like they do in the real world is the only logical solution to all the careless zombie killing that splatters blood and guts on everyone.

If the new kid gets a zombie infection it will be easier to kill him, so I'm guessing he won't.

The episode felt a bit off in the farm parts becasue of half the cast being absent. It's a bit strange to talk about Hershel and Glenn and not see them around.

Your Modest Guru said...

First off, I absolutely agree with Josie Kafka's symbolism explanation.

Most fights guys get into are stupid, uncontrolled explosions of pride and rage. Probably a monkey thing. This made sense, though, as the situation was intense from start to finish (and the dilemma of killing the poor mook made it all even worse). The last episode already left me thinking the two best friends would be gunning for each other from now on. Show's too smart for that I guess.

I don't find Shane quite as rational. I really do think he's in the middle of a nervous breakdown. His obsession with family and home, purpose, his triggerhappy attitude, Otis' murder, the pressures of just being in the group, and a leader at that, I think its all driving him over the deep end.

Suicidal Beth and the women may have actually been my favorite part. First off, that girl's a good actress. Second, this episode was interesting in how it a fork in my opinionated road. I almost couldn't believe it when Lori was outright advocating the classical female societal role. My reaction was almost the same as Andrea's who's side I was then on whereas before she just freaked me out with telling Lori she was wrong to stop a young girl from killing herself. What? She does it again near the end when they cast her out. How could anyone not expect to be called out for that? I can also see Lori's point in a small way. I mean the women are composed of a pregnant mother, two heartbroken widows, a suicidal teen, an otherwise badass girl with relationship issues, and a formerly suicidal fatalist. Not the best conditions for battle (not that the dudes are much better). I might also add that Andrea nearly killed Daryl while protecting the farm from walkers. I don't hate her, but I was just really reminded of that when she said it.

By the way, where's the other half of the cast? I hope they haven't joined the ever growing horde of undead in the areas nearby the farm. Because that wouldn't be awesome at all.

banastal said...

What I was wondering about the whole time and I did not see mentioned is that guy that they were trying to get rid of... Does it mean anything the way he kept hitting that walker? Does it mean he is a psycho and they really need to be careful with him if they decide to let him live or he was just "letting it out"?

Also, to me, Shane always triggers unnecessary complications. In this episode I had been trying to see if Shane really can "come back" as Rick wants... or he is too far gone.

JK said...

Alright, I know this won't be a popular opinion (here of all places), but for the sake of playing devil's advocate I feel I should point out that there are certain merits to traditional gender roles in the situations these characters find themselves in.

To wit, brute strength: women are, on average, far easier to physically overpower. That's just the way it is. This episode really highlighted the issue; both Rick and Shane found themselves in situations where they survived only through sheer physical power. Andrea may be able to shoot, but I rather doubt she'd have been able to force the door on that bus closed where Shane (a rather large chap) struggled with it. She just hasn't got the body mass.

(Insert clever segue here.)

What would Shane have done if the wrench had hit and killed or seriously injured Rick? My guess is that he would have felt incredibly guilty and, shortly thereafter, incredibly dead. For what it's worth, though, I think that the wrench-tossing was more an act of blind rage than an actual attempt on Rick's life.

drnanamom said...

@JK - I hear what you are saying about physical strength and I am not advocating for a complete role reversal here. What I'm arguing is that the women need to be able to defend themselves and this does not necessarily mean brute strength. Most martial arts do not depend on brute strength and although crossbows do take some physicality, many people can learn to use them and/or a bow and arrow. Guns are also useful. And as I keep repeating, because it's important and true although not a screen worthy, our brain is our most powerful defensive weapon. Relying on the boys to always save you is a good way to get killed.